In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. Kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants like beta-carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fiber and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavor the squash.
Know your squash
You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting which will help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.