Kabocha squash is often called Japanese pumpkin, and it’s beloved for its naturally sweet flavor. Look past its knobby skin to see the gorgeous golden flesh that cooks to a delicate consistency. (The raw flesh is firm and hard, so please be careful when cutting and peeling it.) Our cold winter days are warmed by this kabocha and chicken stew, and the added scent of curry brings comfort to the house. Add a loaf of your favorite crusty bread, and you’ll have a complete meal that warms the stomach, the soul, and the house all at the same time.

If you can’t find this cute, squat-looking green squash, you can replace it with butternut squash.

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  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds (910g) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 small kabocha squash (about 3 pounds / 1.4kg), peeled, seeded, and cut into ¾-inch (2-cm) chunks
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 (1-inch / 2.5-cm) knob of ginger, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons curry powder
  • ½ cup (120ml) coconut milk
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Fresh cilantro and scallions, chopped, for garnish



  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft.
  2. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the squash, fish sauce, ginger, curry powder, coconut milk, salt and pepper to taste, and 2 cups (480ml) water. Stir to combine.
  4. Turn the heat to low and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender. If needed, add additional water to cover the squash, about ¼ cup (60ml) at a time. (Season to taste with extra salt and pepper if you add additional water.) Garnish with the cilantro and scallions and serve.