One of the delicious dishes made by the Japanese is Kabocha salad. This is similar to the Japanese potato salad, made with kabocha or pumpkin instead.
What’s in it?
There are four main ingredients in Kabocha salad:
- raisins which can be swapped for pan-fried, diced bacon
- diced or sliced cucumber
- Japanese mayonnaise
The salad is mashed pumpkin with the other ingredients mixed in. With raisins not so easy to procure here, I opted for bacon. It is a nice contrast of flavours that come together in this recipe. The sweetness of the pumpkin combines with the saltiness of the bacon. It is suggested that other forms of squash (pumpkin being considered a squash) can also replace pumpkin.
The history Portuguese sailors introduced kabocha to Japan in 1541, bringing it with them from Cambodia. The Portuguese name for the squash, Cambodia abóbora, was shortened by the Japanese to kabocha. Certain regions of Japan use an alternative abbreviated name, bobora, by shortening the second half of the name.
It can be served as a salad on its own. Sometimes it is included in salads as a ball of mash. This is particularly tasty when garnished with the strong taste of benito flakes. Enjoy!