So maybe you’re not looking for kabocha squash recipes – but you should be. Also known as Japanese pumpkin, this is like a velvet butternut squash and it is the squash you have been searching for your whole life. Creamy, sweet and easy to work with, you might find something similar to these croquettes served in Japanese restaurants called kabocha korokke. I’ve amped up the seasoning in mine and shallow fried them, rather than no special seasoning and deep frying.
1 Kabocha squash, seeds removed and sliced into 2 inch wide wedges
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup potato starch, or cornstarch
1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, or gluten-free breadcrumbs
Canola oil, or other neutral oil, to fry croquettes
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out kabocha wedges. Season with salt, cinnamon, sage, cayenne pepper and black pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for around 40 minutes, or until the squash is soft and starting to caramelize. When the squash is nearly done, in a skillet over medium heat, allow the diced onions to sweat a little until they are translucent. Set the onions aside. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool enough so you can handle it and remove the peels. In a large bowl, mash the squash until it is smooth. Add the onions and garlic. Preheat the canola oil, in a large heavy bottomed skillet, over medium heat (to around 350 F). Using a spoon or a small scoop, form the mashed squash into balls. Roll the balls in the starch, then the unsweetened non-dairy milk and finally in the breadcrumbs. Fry each ball until they are golden brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Remove from oil to a plate lined with paper towel. Serve warm with soy sauce (if you’re not allergic to soy, of course) or any other dipping sauce you like.