Kabocha is basically Japan’s pumpkin. Actually, it’s called the Japanese Pumpkin, so there you go. It’s a squash, it’s orange inside, and you make sweet and savory foods with it. The main difference, in my opinion, is that kabocha tastes better. It’s described as being a cross between pumpkin and sweet potato. Just like most squash, kabocha has a thick hard skin, and it’s kind of a pain to cut and peel, so you’ll do best with a big heavy knife. Here’s a great post on how to cut and peel a kabocha.
Kabocha is used in savory dishes like tempura, soup, and nimono (simmered until soft in a flavorful stock), and in sweet dishes like pudding, cakes, and breads. This dish, which I am calling sweet kabocha bites, is a velvety puree of kabocha combined with just a few ingredients, baked in the oven to set. The texture is a little reminiscent of custard.
You can adjust the amount of sugar in it to taste, so you can make this a really healthy treat! Kabocha is naturally sweet, more so than pumpkin, so you could probably even get by with no added sugar. What a great way to get your kids to eat some veggies!
I decided to use my mini muffin tin because I had some cute Halloween mini cupcake liners. Isn’t the vibrant orange with the pop of black from the sesame perfect for Halloween? It’s a great healthy alternative to cupcakes and cakes. If you’re gonna get overloaded with sweets this Halloween, why not make a batch of these kabocha bites to balance things out?