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Red Kuri Squash - Japanese squash, potimarron, onion squash

This is my first #request-for-recipes – what can I make with a Red Kuri Squash?

This particular one was bought at Choices on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, and is grown in Mexico.

Interesting facts about this from Wikipedia:

It is generally believed that all squash originated in Mesoamerica, but may have been independently cultivated elsewhere, albeit later.

Red kuri squash is commonly called “Japanese squash”, “orange Hokkaido squash”, “baby red hubbard squash”, or “Uchiki kuri squash”. In Japan, the word kuri may refer to either the squash discussed in this article or to Japanese chestnuts. In France, it is called potimarron , and in the United Kingdom, it is commonly called “onion squash”.

Primarily grown in Japan, California, Florida, Southwestern Colorado, Mexico, Tasmania, Tonga, New Zealand, Chile, Provence, and South Africa, red kuri is widely adapted for climates that provide a growing season of 100 days or more. Most of the California, Colorado, Tonga and New Zealand crops are exported to Japan.

Made with Kabocha (green skin, which is the one I always think of as being “Japanese”), but probably works with kuri too.

It’s unlike any other squash in that it’s flavor is mild and reminiscent of chestnuts!

Two recipes on the page, a pretty basic soup plus:

Honey Red Kuri Tart

Pie Crust

  • 1 ½ cups einkorn flour
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp cold filtered water

Honey Squash Filling

  • 1 cooked red kuri squash (about 2 cups)
  • ¾ cup non dairy milk (I used homemade walnut milk)
  • ¼ cup raw wildflower honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp kuzu starch
  • 4 tbsp very cold water

Searched for onion squash UK and started getting some interesting links.

  • Onion Squash and Chickpea Soup
  • Pickled onion squas
  • Baked onion squash

That last one was most interesting:

Baked onion squash

  • 1 onion squash
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 bunch of thyme, leaves only
  • 200ml/7fl oz crème fraîche or double cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 slices of stale white bread
  • 150g/5oz Gruyère

Ok, I tried making a variant of this baked onion squash. I substituted a few things (which didn’t go well), but the biggest issue was that the squash didn’t taste good!

It wasn’t sweet, and it didn’t taste like chestnut.

I cut off the top quarter and scooped out the thick seeds.

It looks like something that would be great stuffed or filled!

Cream rather than heavy cream. Dried thyme, salt & fresh black pepper. A little more Dijon because I like Dijon.

What to use as thickener? How about some polenta? In case you’re wondering, this is the wrong answer. I can picture a squash filled with cheesy, creamy polenta, but stirring it into some cream and cooking it inside the squash is not how you get there.

I had some leftover boiled potatoes and put them in. Cheese and potatoes and cream? Right idea, except you also put polenta in.

The cheese was a grated old Gouda, not Gruyere as called for. Meh. Any sort of cheese could probably work.

Into the oven on a pie plate with some water in the bottom, with the squash lid placed back on.

Not looking too bad! I threw some good grated parmigiano on top and back in the oven uncovered.


Well, cut up the squash ladled in this cheese not-cooked polenta potato cream nightmare.

The sauce… was actually better than the flavour of the squash! It wasn’t sweet, there was no hint of chestnut flavour.

The skin was tender, the squash might have cooked another 10min or so but I like it a bit al dente rather than falling apart. But all that didn’t matter, because the squash tasted bad.

Well, I guess there’s a reason we don’t see a lot of Red Kuri here in Vancouver.

Back to kabocha and the many other squashes we have a lot of here locally!