Red Kuri Squash

A good friend gave me this cute winter squash to see what I’d do with it, donating it to science as it were. It’s about seven inches in diameter, a deep red-orange hue, with a whorled woody stem, and a hard skin. It’s a bit “pumpkin-like” without the deep ridges, and I’ve seen these sold as ornamental squashes every year during the fall, from pre-Halloween to post-Thanksgiving. But I’ve never eaten one before. Until now!

Is that a kuri squash or are you just happy to see me?

Can’t wait to cook this thing!

Naturally I’ve got a few ideas about what to do with this thing. Seeing that it’s a common Japanese species (called alternately, Orange Hokkaido Squash, Baby Hubbard Squash, Uchiki Kuri Squash) my first instinct is to treat it like a green kabocha and fry it tempura style or simmer it in ginger dashi. Or maybe roast it and then mash it? Or perhaps a simple soup with nutmeg cream & fried sage?

If anyone has any ideas, I’d be delighted to hear them. Bring it on!

Big thanks to Kathy Wade!

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