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Kabocha Squash

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An Oriental variety of squash that occasionally appears in speciality foodstores, at least in the western United States. Sometimes called 'Japanese Pumpkin', it is deep green and shaped rather like a small pumpkin, though often it has somewhat deeper depressions than a pumpkin. Depending on the ripeness and variety, it might also have longitudinal yellow streaks. The flesh is orange. Being a winter type of squash, it stores well.

The varieties in the supermarket appear to be non-hybrid and you can raise your own easily from the seeds. They prefer a well-drained soil and some compost.

Kabocha squash can be used in any recipe that calls for pumpkin, though it's less sweet. It makes a particularly good soup, simmered with chicken broth, ginger, and garlic. Like many orange vegetables, it is an excellent source of Vitamins C and A.

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