Kabocha Salad is made with kalabasa squash, carrots, and raisins tossed in mayo and topped with chopped walnuts. Creamy with a hint of sweetness, it’s the perfect side dish for your favorite Asian meals.
Korean BBQ is one of my favorite places to dine out. I love the casual dining experience and the smoky charred flavors of freshly grilled meats. And most of all, I can’t get enough of the banchan or assorted side dishes such as this kabocha salad that comes with the meal.
What is Kabocha
Kabocha is a type of winter squash known globally as Japanese pumpkin or locally in the Philippines as kalabasa. It’s a popular ingredient in Asian cuisines and is often used in soups, stews, fritters, salads, desserts, and many other delicious applications.
Its appearance is characterized by knobbly-looking deep-green skin and deep orange-colored flesh. It has a creamy texture and sweet taste, like a cross between sweet potatoes and butternut squash.
Besides being exceptionally tasty and versatile, squash is a good source of beta-carotene, iron, vitamin C, some B vitamins, and fiber.
How To Cook Kalabasa Squash
- Cut the squash into halves using a sharp knife and scoop the seeds with a large spoon. Carefully peel the skin and slice the flesh into 1 to 1 1/2-inch small chunks.
- Place in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender enough to be pierced with a fork without resistance but not falling apart.
- Drain well and allow to cool completely before adding other ingredients.
- Alternatively, you can steam the squash for about 12 to 15 minutes or until tender but not falling apart. Or, cook in the microwave with about two tablespoons of water for about 4 to 6 minutes or until tender but not falling apart.
If you love potato salad but are looking for a bit of variety, you’ll want to try this Asian twist on the classic side dish. Kabocha salad is as rich and creamy but with a naturally sweet and nutty flavor from the kalabasa and extra crunch from the shredded carrots, raisins, and chopped walnuts.
For an authentic taste, use Japanese mayo or Kewpie Mayo. It’s richer and creamier than regular mayo, with a tangy and sweet taste.
It’s a great accompaniment to grilled or roasted meats and makes a festive addition to your family dinner or holiday party. Serve it as a side dish to Korean Ground Beef or Korean Beef Bulgogi for a delicious Asian-inspired meal.
Store in a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- 1 whole (2 to 3 pounds) kabocha (kalabasa)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
- 2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- Using a sharp knife, cut kabocha into half and scoop out the seeds with a large spoon. Carefully peel the skin and slice the flesh into 1 to 1 1/2-inch small chunks.
- In a saucepan, place the kabocha and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until kabocha can be pierced with a fork without resistance but not falling apart.
- Drain kabocha well and allow to cool completely.
- In a large bowl, place tender kabocha and roughly mash with a fork.
- Add shredded carrots, green onions, and raisins.
- Add mayonnaise and gently stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with chopped walnuts and additional raisins and shredded carrots, if desired. Serve cold.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”