If you celebrate American Thanksgiving, this mashed kabocha is a delicious, colorful alternative to mashed potatoes that appears regularly on my autumn table. But, even if you're in another part of the northern hemisphere, this vibrant side is a great way to make use of Kabocha.
Aside from being festive and sweet, kabocha has a few distinct advantages over potatoes. If you've ever over-mashed your potatoes and had them turn into glue, you'll be happy to know that it's almost impossible for this to happen with kabocha due to its lower starch content. This opens up the possibility of using tools like blenders and food processors to mash the pumpkin and achieve a smoother texture.
Kabocha also cooks faster than potatoes, and by cooking it in milk and butter, there's no need to drain it or heat the milk and butter separately. This makes this dish super easy to prepare, especially when you're juggling the preparation of a half dozen dishes.
Kabocha takes a while to mature (even after it looks ready to pick), and underripe kabocha tends to have a high moisture content with low starch and sugar content which will not work well for this recipe. When chosing kabocha look for one that is relatively heavy for it's size with very hard skin. If you can find them cut in half look for one with flesh that's more orange than yellow. Check this page out for what a ripe kabocha should look like.
Although kabocha skin is edible, you'll want to do a good job in removing all of the green parts of the skin, or your mash is going to turn an unappealing shade of greenish-brown.
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