These Kabocha squash (aka Japanese Pumpkin) and mushroom tacos are made with simple ingredients, and full of flavor!
TOTAL TIME: 35 MINS
PREP TIME: 20 MINS
COOK TIME: 15 MINS
Traditional Chinese Medicinal Properties: Spleen and Stomach support, blood-building, immune support
TACO INGREDIENTS: 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 2 cups small-diced kabocha squash (about 1 medium squash that has been peeled and seeded. 8 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, quartered 1 serrano pepper, stem removed and thinly sliced (remove seeds and pulp, if you prefer less heat) 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided 1 teaspoon Power Pepper, divided 1 teaspoon Circulate Spice Blend, divided corn tortillas
for serving: chopped fresh cilantro, diced white onions, lime wedges, cubed avocado
CHIPOTLE LIME AIOLI INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup soy-free Mayo ( I prefer Just Mayo brand) 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce 1 clove garlic 1 tablespoon lime juice pinch of salt
TO MAKE THE AIOLI:
Add all ingredients to a food processor blender, and pulse until combined. Or, just finely chop the chipotle in adobo, and stir it in with the other ingredients until combined.
TO MAKE THE TACOS:
Preheat the oven to 400. Wash and peel the Kabocha; it peels fairly easy, be sure to only take off the hard outer shell but not the green layer just below it. That green layer is concentrated flavor. (The peel is edible if you like but I prefer it off for this recipe). Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 tsp Power Pepper, 1/2 tsp Circulate, 1/4 tsp sea salt. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. While the kabocha is in the oven, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the saute pan. Turn heat to medium-high. Add mushrooms and serrano, and saute for 5-7 minutes or until the mushrooms are starting to brown around the edges. Reduce heat to medium. Add the garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the roasted squash and season with remaining sea salt, Power Pepper, and Circulate. Remove from heat and set aside. Warm the tortillas for a few seconds each in the skillet before assembling. Then layer two corn tortillas together, top with some of the kabocha mixture, sprinkled with cilantro, onions, and/or lime if you would like, and drizzle with the aioli. ________________________________________________________________________
I love Kabocha Squash (otherwise known as Japanese Pumpkin). It looks like a little green pumpkin and I can only describe it’s sweet, velvety flavor as “more” than other kinds of squash. Kabocha is rich in beta-carotene, iron, vitamin C, and potassium. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, this squash is the perfect spleen and stomach supportive food, making it an ideal addition to your diet during the late summer season as we move into fall.
Today’s recipe is inspired by the fact that I can find this tasty wonder in almost all the grocery stores here in SE Louisiana. When I lived in Portland, OR, I had to go my local Asian market to find it. So, depending on your location it may be easy to find or it might require a little searching.
If Kabocha is hard to find in your area but you do find some I recommend buying 2 or 3 since they last at least 2-3 weeks sitting on the counter and they’re great to just slice into crescents and roast or replace Butternut in soup or other recipes. If Kabocha proves impossible to find, you can substitute Delicata (seed, and dice, but don’t peel) or Butternut squash. This dish is warming and comforting. With the inclusion of our Power Pepper and Circulate blends the flavor is rich and smokey and the mushrooms give it a meaty chew that’s satisfying. It’s the perfect easy, exciting meal for a late summer or autumn evening. Enjoy! -Chef Kelly