Kabocha Pork Stir Fry

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Kabocha Pork Stir Fry | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Thank you everyone for your kind comments and messages for the CBS San Francisco’s Reader’s Choice Award I received last week.  I’m quite behind in responding to you individually but I want to let you know I’m working on catching up with the responses.  I just want to thank you first for your kind support and love.

Kabocha Pork Stir Fry | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

It’s the beginning of fall and various pumpkin recipes are starting to appear on websites and magazines.  It made me think of sharing this easy and quick Kobocha recipe today.

Kabocha is sometimes referred to as Japanese pumpkin or Kabocha squash in the US.  It has very hard, deep green skin and the inside is intense yellow-orange color.  It’s a very nutritious vegetable with a very sweet flavor, even sweeter than butternut squash and it is rich in beta carotene.  I used Korean seasoning called Gochujang (hot pepper paste) for flavoring this dish.  It’s a bit spicy so please adjust the amount of Gochujang to your liking.

Kabocha Pork Stir Fry | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

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Kabocha Pork Stir Fry
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • ¼ Kabocha pumpkin (about ½ lb or 260g)
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. Gochujang
Seasonings A
Seasonings B
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine Seasonings A and the meat. Mix well with hands and set aside.
  2. Remove Kabocha seeds with a spoon. Cut in half and then cut into thin slices.
  3. In a microwave-safe container, put sliced Kabocha inside. Pour 1 Tbsp. water on top and close the lid. Microwave it for 2 minutes*. Please do not overcook it because it will easily break when you stir-fry. *Cooking time may vary depending on your microwave and the amount of Kabocha.
  4. Cut garlic clove into thin slices and combine Seasoning B in a small bowl.
  5. In a large non-stick frying pan or wok, heat oil on medium heat and cook garlic until fragrant.
  6. Add the meat and cook until it is cooked through.
  7. Add Gochujuang and mix well.
  8. Add Kabocha and mix all together. If Kabocha is still hard to eat, cook a little bit longer.
  9. When Kabocha is fully cooked, add Seasonings B and shake the frying pan to mix all together. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

 

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  1. I think Filipino “Kalabasa” got its name from “Kabocha” they sound nearly the same and they are the same squash variant. We also have nearly similar recipe except we use coconut milk for its sauce, its also not limited to minced meats but we can use seafood as well. Here are the different variants http://wp.me/pMp9M-F3, http://wp.me/pMp9M-D1 and http://wp.me/pMp9M-tP.

    Also another thing I noticed you did not removed the skin, that how we do it traditionally as well. Love to see the Japanese contribution to Philippine cuisine.

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    • Raymund, that’s interesting! Coconut milk and Kabocha sounds really good. We usually keep the skin on so that orange/yellow part won’t break easily.

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  2. Nami, what an original way to cook a pumpkin! Your dish looks so appealing I have almost forgotten I am not a big fan of pumpkin. I find it too sweet and bland and the only way I like it is in a very hot curry and coconut milk soup. On the other hand I am so tempted by your beautiful dish that I will maybe try it one day and if I like it will mean you have revolutionised my attitude towards pumpkins 😉 On the other hand I have never seen or tasted kabocha, but since some organic farms sell also rare pumpkin or squash varieties, maybe I will see it some day on the market…
    I love gochujang and use it all the time. It’s great with all the Japanese dishes, it is very umami and almost as addictive as miso…

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  3. Hi Nami, this looks amazing! I love pork and have recently been using a lot of pumpkin, even though it’s spring here and getting warmer… I’ll definitely be making this dish for our dinner one night this week. Thank you!

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  4. What a coincidence! I also posted a pork stir fry dish today! a ginger one! :) I will have to try your delicious looking dish with a butternut squash as I don’t think i’ll be able to find a kobocha here….hmm, maybe the japan centre will carry it.

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    • I actually have never tried cooking with regular pumpkin before, but I assume you can use it. The cooking time etc may vary as the texture of pumpkin can be different.

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  5. Yum, I love kabocha squash! I haven’t seen it here yet but we do get some nice squash varieties. It’s still so hot I can’t wrap my head around fall flavors quite yet, but this looks great. Also, congrats again!!!

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  6. I always think of Kabocha as the tofu of squashes. It’s very versatile and easily adapts to any other ingredients, and sauce. I like your recipe – very simple to make. Have a good week, Nami!

    ~ ray ~

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  7. Thanks for passing by and for the nice comment on my blog!

    It is also my first time on your site and I really like what I see. I really don’t know much about Japanese home cooking. A kind of cuisine I am attracted to.

    This stir-fry looks amazing! A dish I could eat on a daily basis.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  8. Wow! This is beautiful and mouth-watering! I love stir-fry pumpkin with dried silver fish but had never tried with ground pork and not even Japanese pumpkin. I always buy the normal ones.
    I’ve got all ingredients needed for this recipe (but not kabocha tho)! I shall try this the next few days! 😉

    PS: I didn’t know that the skin of kabocha (or any kinda pumpkins/squashes??) can be eaten. Hehehe 😛

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  9. I love the looks and taste of pumpkins and squashes. It is so interesting to see how they are cooked in different countries. I haven’t seen a recipe that I didn’t like. I could easily polish a bowlful of this one.

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  10. Great pumpkin dish! I love the green outsides, so pretty. I don’t eat a lot of pumpkin and normally when I have one I make “che” but that doesn’t look as tasty as your stir fry.

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  11. Umm I took like 5 days off of blog reading & I missed that you won!? CONGRATS!!! You deserve it! On another note, this dish looks mouthwatering. I’ve never cooked with kabocha squash but obviously need to! Mmmm I want this for dinner tonight.

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  12. This is one more delicious looking dish, Nami! I love the nice color, and how comforting and tempting it sounds. Very beautiful photos, and great recipe for sure!

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  13. Hey Nami…is the japanese pumpkin different than the usual? I think I got something similar looking from the chinese store near my place and made it the indian way..tasted yum..I think it was kabocha..atleast looks really similar. LOVE the first picture..black dish is so classy!

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  14. I’ve seen this vegetable here in the market, but I didn’t know what it was, or what to do with it. Thanks for the lesson! I like this dish, but I think I would have to subsitute chicken for pork, as the pork is very expensive here and has become a rare treat.

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  15. Nami – this is wonderful! You gave it an entirely new spin! I would have never thought to stir-fry pumpkin….GENIUS! No wonder you won the award!

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  16. What a beautiful dish and I love when I discover something new! I had never heard of kobacha before but I would certainly have to try a bite of this!

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  17. Nami, I used to eat kabocha every single day. I turned quite orange, so had to desist! Now you’re tempting me to go orange again! Haha! this dish looks so delicious! I think I would add bacon too. 😉

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  18. Nami!! This one is a simple, fast & good looking dish!!
    + I do love kabocha & always try to find another variety recipe than soup or bread… so thx to u now I have it!! loves korean hot paper paste too, I think I’ll add ++ the amount!! Haha ha!
    TQ sweetie for share the recipe! 😉
    COngratz to ur award, happy for u dear!! 😉

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  19. I’ve been taking photos of these dark green pumpkins growing where I walk the dog. I wondered what they were called, now I know! I bought some of the Japanese curry cubes at the Asian supermarket, definitely going to try a kabocha curry!!

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  20. Nami,
    I actually only discovered Kabocha last year and fell in love with it! They should be coming to our local market very soon, but this recipe was perfect timing! It looks delicious!

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  21. Rebeca

    Hi!

    I love kabocha, but we don’t grow it at my farm. We have buttercup squash which is similar in flavor and texture so I will use that :-) One question: I don’t have a microwave oven, so I was thinking of steaming it on the stove — Have you tried that or would a different cooking technique be better?

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    • Hi Rebeca! How nice to have your own farm! Microwave method is a shortcut so please parboil kobocha (or buttercup squash in your case) as you normally do. But make sure not to overcook or else it will easily break while you stir fry. Enjoy!

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