Kabocha is hard on the outside with knobbly-looking skin. It is shaped like a squat pumpkin and has a dull-finished, deep-green skin with some celadon-to-white stripes and an intense yellow-orange color on the inside. In many respects it is similar to buttercup squash, but without the characteristic protruding “cup” on the blossom end. An average kabocha weighs 2-3 pounds, but a large specimen can weigh as much as 8 pounds.
Kabocha has an exceptional sweet flavor, even sweeter than butternut squash. It is similar in texture and flavor to a pumpkin and sweet potato combined. Kabocha is commonly utilized in side dishes and soups, or as a substitute for potato or other squash varieties. It can be roasted after cutting the squash in half, scooping out the inside rind and seeds, and then cutting the squash into wedges. With a little olive oil and seasoning, it can be baked in the oven. This squash is rich in beta carotene, with iron, vitamin C, potassium, and smaller traces of calcium, folic acid, and minute amounts of B vitamins.