Easy Japanese Recipes

Kabocha Pork Stir Fry

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
Serves: 2-3
  • 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
  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.
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.


Posted in: 30 Minutes Or Less, Autumn, Easy Dinner Ideas, Pork, Quick & Easy, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Tofu & Eggs

Leave a Comment

+ 2 = eight

  • Shaz (feedingmykidsbetter) September 19, 2011, 12:10 am

    I like that you left the skin on. I like it that way too. Give a nice bite to it. 

  • Maris (In Good Taste) September 19, 2011, 1:54 am

    I love all things pumpkin! I love the idea of having it in a stir fry. As usual, this looks delicious!

  • Raymund September 19, 2011, 1:57 am

    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.

    • Nami September 21, 2011, 4:41 pm

      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.

  • Belinda @zomppa September 19, 2011, 3:14 am

    I absolutely love the all and all its awesome pumpkin and squashes – and this is an example of why!

  • Lyndsey ~ The Tiny Skillet September 19, 2011, 3:18 am

    Perfect for fall, and such a beautiful dish. I usually can find Jamaican pumpkin around here and use it similar to kabocha, but it’s not as sweet. I always have to adjust the heat factor for my husband…not too hot.

  • Sissi September 19, 2011, 4:23 am

    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…

  • Martyna@WholesomeCook September 19, 2011, 4:38 am

    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!

  • Liz September 19, 2011, 4:51 am

    What a lovely, delicious entree! I first thought the squash was avocado :) Kind of relieved it’s not…LOL.

  • Sylvia@peachesanddonuts September 19, 2011, 4:53 am

    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.

  • Beth Michelle September 19, 2011, 5:47 am

    Nami this dish looks amazing. Do you think it would work with plain old pumpkin? Im not sure they have kabocha here (or if they do I havent seen it!).

    • Nami September 20, 2011, 11:57 pm

      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.

  • Katherine Martinelli September 19, 2011, 6:02 am

    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!!!

  • Ma What's For Dinner September 19, 2011, 7:21 am

    Oh this looks delightful!!! I can’t wait to try it. Love the pork/squash combo. I’m so excited to have found your blog a few weeks back. You always have such great ideas that my family’s taste buds will adore!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What’s For Dinner

  • Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. September 19, 2011, 7:42 am

    This looks so good, Nami! When I first saw your pictures, I actually thought the pumpkin was sliced avocado! lol. I’ve never heard of a kabocha pumpkin!

  • Mandy - The Complete Cook Book September 19, 2011, 7:49 am

    I love all types of pumpkins and squashes. Can’t wait to try this wonderful meal.
    Have a fantastic week Nami.
    :-) Mandy

  • chinmayie @ love food eat September 19, 2011, 8:09 am

    Pumpkin recipes are everywhere!! Even my latest recipe is a pumpkin recipe :) Love the colour of pumpkin in your stirfry :)

  • wok with ray September 19, 2011, 8:10 am

    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 ~

  • A Little Yumminess September 19, 2011, 9:38 am

    I never use kabocha but I think you have inspired me. I can see the kiddo eating this too!

  • Rosa September 19, 2011, 10:05 am

    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.



  • Sandra September 19, 2011, 10:34 am

    A sweet vegetable and pork? I am so there!

  • Lyn September 19, 2011, 11:42 am

    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 :P

  • Adora's Box September 19, 2011, 11:46 am

    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.

  • Lilly September 19, 2011, 11:55 am

    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.

  • Caroline September 19, 2011, 12:26 pm

    This looks fantastic, Nami! I love that you left the skin on. I seriously need to start cooking and baking with pumpkin. It’s that time of the year!

  • Kay Ecker September 19, 2011, 12:38 pm

    Nami, Another great recipe of yours!! I never thought of mixing Kabocha & ground pork together, what a great combo! I love putting everything on my rice too :o)

  • tigerfish September 19, 2011, 1:45 pm

    I also did a kabocha stir-fry not too long ago, without pork though and already loving it.

  • Claire September 19, 2011, 3:55 pm

    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.

  • Happy When Not Hungry September 19, 2011, 4:35 pm

    This stir fry looks amazing! Love the flavors too :-)

  • Lisa H. September 19, 2011, 5:06 pm

    Fantastic colour :D

  • Sandra September 19, 2011, 5:07 pm

    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!

  • Emily {The Best of this Life} September 19, 2011, 5:58 pm

    Beautiful dish Nami!
    I love all sorts of squash and this is a dish I just have to try! It looks so appetizing
    and perfect for Fall and the fresh produce coming into the Farmer’s Markets.

    xo Emily

  • Tanvi@SinfullySpicy September 19, 2011, 6:08 pm

    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!

  • Mika September 19, 2011, 6:14 pm

    Natsukashi!!! You should also try to make Kinton with Kabocha ; )

  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover September 19, 2011, 6:37 pm

    I still have a small piece of pumpkin in the fridge, your recipe just come at the right time, going to try it out tonight. Thanks for sharing.

  • Christine September 19, 2011, 9:26 pm

    Never thought of pumpkin in a stir fry. Sounds good. Thanks for sharing.

  • Alyssa September 20, 2011, 3:46 am

    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.

  • The Elegant Eggplant September 20, 2011, 7:19 am

    This looks divine!!!! Totally my type of meal. I am so excited for winter squash season.. my favorite. Definitely bookmarking this one :)

  • Tina (PinayInTexas) September 20, 2011, 7:35 am

    My girls love kabocha squash! I often cook sauteed kabocha & ground pork in oyster sauce & soy sauce. With sake and Gochujang, I’m sure it would taste even better!

  • Lindsey@Lindselicious September 20, 2011, 8:36 am

    Yum I love kabocha! I always just roast it, I need to try it in a stir fry too, perfect for a weekday meal!

  • kankana September 20, 2011, 12:11 pm

    I always enjoy pumpkins a lot .. and they always taste so good! This looks like a fantastic recipe to give a try :)

  • Reem | Simply Reem September 20, 2011, 1:46 pm

    Nami, This looks fabulous…
    Perfect for fall….
    Really beautiful pictures.

  • Giulietta | Alterkitchen September 20, 2011, 2:08 pm

    I love pumpkin, and this is a great way to eat it :)
    PS: in Italy we also eat “fried pumpkin” (I love it), or pumpkin and sausages… great!

  • Kelly September 20, 2011, 5:04 pm

    This recipe is officially helping me overcome my end-of-summer blues… just beautiful, as usual, Nami.

  • Ann September 20, 2011, 7:12 pm

    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!

  • kita September 20, 2011, 8:20 pm

    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!

  • sophia September 20, 2011, 8:26 pm

    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. ;-)

  • PolaM September 20, 2011, 10:29 pm

    I have to try using Kabocha. I love winter squash and I am always looking for new kinds and new ways of preparing it. This looks like a great idea!

  • Elies_Lie September 20, 2011, 11:21 pm

    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!! ;)

  • elisabeth@foodandthrift September 21, 2011, 9:26 am

    Nami-your kabocha stir-fry is amazing, colorful and totally delicious with the pork.
    Congratulations on the San Francisco blogger award…wow! such an honor that you truly deserve!

  • Natalie September 21, 2011, 4:05 pm

    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!!

  • mjskit September 21, 2011, 8:29 pm

    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!

  • sheri September 21, 2011, 9:15 pm

    YUMMY! I definitely have to try this kabocha preparation. I love this pumpkin and it looks delicious the way you’ve made it here. Thanks Nami!

  • Tiffany September 22, 2011, 5:26 am

    No pork for me, but I am always looking for dishes to make for my meat eating friends!

  • Priscilla - She's Cookin' September 22, 2011, 9:22 pm

    I love fall and seeing all the great pumpkin recipes! Kabocha squash has such a rich, deep flavor and I would have never thought to combine it with pork in a stir fry – brilliant :)

  • Rebeca September 25, 2011, 3:36 am


    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?

    • Nami September 25, 2011, 10:06 am

      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!

  • lele December 4, 2013, 3:09 am

    I was wondering what would be a substitute for Gochjang. Would miso work for it?

    • Nami December 4, 2013, 9:04 am

      Hi lele! Yes, miso ( + a bit of any kinds of chili sauce if you like spicy, otherwise just miso) would work perfectly. :)

  • cquek August 22, 2014, 12:15 am

    we love pumpkin. I have never eaten such combination! This looks amazing! Will be trying out soon.