Kabocha squash is a Japanese winter squash that is wonderfully sweet. It’s perfectly round bowl-shape makes it easy to stuff with all kinds of delicious meals. Plus, the squash insides are fairly fleshy inside and it roasts into a moist fluffy texture. Tonight while on Skype with Francisco, I decided to make one of my favorite Thai dishes, red coconut curry:
Kabocha Squash Red Curry
½ package of extra firm tofu, small 1-inch cubes
½ Red Onion – sliced
½ Red Bell Pepper – sliced
1 T. Minced Garlic
16 oz. can Coconut Milk
4-5 T. Red Curry Paste
1-2 T. Red Chili Paste
1-2 T. Fresh Basil
½ T. Dried Basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Medium Kabocha Squash, gutted and seeded
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Brush the squash with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and a dash of paprika. On an oil-brushed/sprayed pan, roast the squash for approximately 35-45 minutes until the squash is tender with a fork. Put the flesh side down on your squash top.
In a medium saucepan on high heat, add olive oil and cook your tofu pieces so that they are full cooked through and have a nice golden brown color. Set your tofu to the side.
Bring the heat to medium-high heat. Add a bit more oil and 1-2 T. of red curry paste and start to cook your onions and garlic until the onions become translucent and coated in the paste. Rip pieces of your fresh basil and place it into the onion and garlic mixture so it becomes fragrant.
Next add your red bell pepper and tofu. Once the peppers start to cook through, but aren’t completely done, add your coconut milk. Mix in the rest of your red curry paste and the red chili paste so that the color of your curry becomes more red than white. Be weary though, the curry paste can be very spicy for some people! Season to taste with the dried basil, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover the curry to let it thicken for about 15 minutes.
Check on your squash, once it is tender, take it out of the oven and place it on a plate. Keep the top for a nice garnish. Add your curry to the squash and serve with sesame seeds and a sprig or two of fresh basil.
The best way to eat this is with a spoon to scoop in the flesh of the squash to add to the curry. I also like to top it with some Sriracha chili sauce!
Super flavorful and rich, this made for an excellent dinner! There was some leftover curry – which can be just as tasty on top of rice or rice noodles just make sure to save some of the fleshy squash to mix in!