Shaking Kabocha Squash
Why we love it:
- 1 Kabocha Squash (see substitutions, if concerned about cutting it)
- 3 Tablespoons Canola Oil (divided)
- 21⁄2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper (freshly ground)
- 1 cup Basmati Rice (White)
- 11⁄4 cups Water
- 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (or tamari)
- 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Mirin
- 1 teaspoon Fish Sauce (use vegan if preferred, or see substitutions)
- 2 teaspoons White Sugar
- 2 Limes (zest and juice of 1, the other sliced)
- 1 Red Onion (small and thinly sliced)
- 5 Green Onions (or up to 2x more, if you have more hanging around)
- 2 Roma Tomatos
- 3 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter (divided)
- 3 cups Arugula
1. PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 400 DEGREES
Using a very sturdy knife and stable work surface, cut it in half. You do have to get the knife wedged in and as long as it’s not rolling all over the place, you can use the heel of your hand to knock on the knife.
When it splits, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Now, use a damp edge of a towel and wipe down the skin. Use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel off any knobby parts of the skin, but most of it you can leave on! The “knobby” parts look like cement attached. Seriously, these things are a fortress.
One at a time, place the cut and scooped sides face down and cut into wedges. Aim for about 1-2” thick. Then cut into squares. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the other side.
Toss with a Tablespoon or so of oil and a teaspoon each of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 17 minutes, stirring at least once.
Combine the rice, a ½ teaspoon of salt and the water in a small pot with a fitted lid. Bring to a boil over high heat, then stir well and reduce to low. Cover. Steam for 16 minutes or until the rice is tender and water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and let it sit until you’re ready to serve.
4. SOY SAUCE MIXTURE
Whisk together all of the soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, fish sauce and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Zest and juice one lime into the sauce. Slice the other lime into wedges and reserve.
5. ONIONS + GARLIC + TOMATOES
Prep all of the vegetables and set out on a baking sheet or casserole dish by the stove so you’re ready to quickly sauté.
Thinly slice the red onion (cut in half and place cut side down. Slice WITH the grain...not in to half-moon rounds, but into julienne strips from the top to the bottom of the onion).
Chop the green onions into ½ inch long pieces, both white and green parts.
Slice the tomatoes into about 6-8 wedges each.
6. SHAKE THAT SQUASH
When the squash is just about done in the oven, it should be tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and get ready to sauté. Set a 9 x 13 baking dish near the stove to catch the first batch when it’s done.
Use a large, heavy bottom pan, ideally with shallow sides - so a sauté pan, large cast iron skillet, or even a good wok if you have one.
7. BATCH 1
Heat the pan over high heat and add 1 teaspoon of canola oil to the pan. When it’s hot and shimmery, add ½ of each of the following - the red onion, green onion, tomatoes and garlic. Cook about 90 seconds, stirring as needed. Add ½ of the soy sauce mixture stir and shake the pan to coat the onions. Finally, add ½ the butter, and shake the pan to distribute evenly and melt.
Transfer the onions and the sauce to the casserole dish.
8. BATCH 2
Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan and when it’s hot, add ½ of the squash. Sauté for 2 minutes, then flip and sear the other side. Remove from the sauté pan and place with the cooked onions.
9. BATCH 3
Repeat with a final teaspoon of oil and the rest of the squash. This time after 2 minutes, add the remaining onions, garlic and tomatoes. Cook for another 2 minutes and add the rest of the soy sauce mixture. Cook 1 minute. Add the rest of the butter.
Toss everything back together in the sauté pan.
Arrange the arugula on a platter or plates, and top with the squash and onions. Pour sauce over top. Serve with rice on the side and garnish with the lime wedges.