Mashed Kabocha Salad

Introducing my Mashed Kabocha Salad recipe, a delightful Japanese side dish bursting with flavor and nutrients! Similar to mashed potatoes but with a unique twist, this dish features tender kabocha squash boiled and mashed to perfection, making it an ideal accompaniment to your favorite Japanese meals. Quick to prepare, packed with healthy benefits, and brimming with authentic Japanese flavors, this recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to elevate their dining experience!

Mashed kabocha salad served in a glass bowl.

Why I Love This Recipe

As a lover of Japanese cuisine, I’m thrilled to share why my Mashed Kabocha Salad has become a staple on my table during autumn! Just like my beloved Simmered Japanese Kabocha, this dish takes tender kabocha squash to new heights by blending it with Japanese-inspired ingredients, creating a delectable Japanese version of mashed potatoes perfect to go along with comforting fall vibes!

Crafted with love and inspired by my mother’s traditional kabocha techniques just like my Baked Maple Glazed Kabocha, this recipe boasts a sweet, creamy flavor and velvety texture that perfectly complements any Japanese meal. Join me in savoring the irresistible taste of this kabocha creation and elevate your side dish experience today!



  • Kabocha – Japanese pumpkin found in most Japanese grocery stores.
  • Salt – sea salt preferred.
  • Mayonnaise – use Japanese Kewpie Mayo. Can substitute with regular mayo but will alter flavor.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds – optional garnish.

Mashed kabocha salad served in a glass bowl being scooped up with a spoon.


Step 1 Prepare the kabocha by cutting it into wedges, removing the outer skin, and cutting it into cubes.

Cubed kabocha.

🎃 Kabocha Pro Tip

If facing difficulty cutting the kabocha, a simple solution is to place the entire kabocha in the Microwave for 20-25 Seconds to soften it up. This pro tip makes cutting the kabocha easier and safer.

Step 2 Boil the kabocha cubes for 15-20 minutes. Then, place the boiled kabocha on a drying rack to drain out all the water, and transfer it to a bowl.

Cubed kabocha in a pot of boiling water.

💡 Texture Pro Tip

For optimal texture in mashed kabocha, ensure that the boiled kabocha are Entirely Drained of Water, as even a small amount can affect the final texture. This guarantees a smooth and creamy consistency in your mashed kabocha.

Step 3 Add Kewpie mayo, salt and mash until desired consistency. Top with toasted sesame seeds.

Mashed kabocha salad.

🍽️ Serving Pro Tip

The dish can be served at Room Temperature or Chilled, offering flexibility in serving preferences.

Pairing Recommendations

Think of mashed kabocha like your Japanese potato salad, perfectly complementing hearty braised meats such as Pork Belly Chashu or Japanese-style Braised Pork Belly. Pair it with a crisp side green salad drizzled in Miso Salad Dressing for a refreshing contrast, alongside a comforting bowl of Tofu Miso Soup to complete your meal.

Mashed kabocha salad served in a glass bowl, top down shot.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to boil the kabocha until tender?

It typically takes about 10-15 minutes to boil the kabocha until tender. You can tell it's ready when it's very easy to pierce with a fork.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it later?

Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it later. It will hold well in the fridge and maintain its flavor and texture when reheated. Simply store it in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Can I use a different type of mayo if I don't have Kewpie mayo?

Yes, you can use other types of mayo as a substitute for Kewpie mayo in this recipe. However, it's important to note that the taste may vary depending on the type of mayo you use.

What is the texture of the mashed kabocha supposed to be like?

The texture of mashed kabocha should be similar to that of mashed potato but not as dry. It's smooth, creamy, and slightly dense, with a velvety consistency that melts in your mouth.

Storage Tips

To store leftovers, place them in an airtight container in the fridge, where they will remain fresh for 5-7 days.

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Watch How To Make It

Mashed kabocha salad served in a glass bowl being scooped up with a spoon.

Mashed Kabocha Salad

Welcome to my Mashed Kabocha Salad recipe! Indulge in the creamy goodness of kabocha squash with this delightful Japanese side dish. Perfect for any meal, this kabocha salad offers a unique twist on traditional mashed potatoes. Give it a try today and elevate your dining experience with this flavorful and nutritious dish!
4.67 from 6 votes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Asian American, Asian Fusion, Japanese
Keyword: kabocha salad, mashed kabocha squash
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Drying Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 170kcal


  • 1 Cup Kabocha ~1/4 of a kabocha
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Kewpie Mayo can sub with regular mayo but will alter taste
  • 1/8 tsp Toasted Sesame Seeds optional garnish


  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients for mashed kabocha salad.
  • Place whole kabocha into the microwave for about 20-25 seconds. Once softened, cut 1/4 of kabocha as shown below and use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin. Cut kabocha into 1" x 1" cubes and set aside.
    Cubed kabocha.
  • In a stove top pot, add kabocha cubes and enough water to fully submerge the kabocha. Place on high heat, cover, and bring water to a boil. Once water is boiling, reduce heat to low, cover stove top pot 7/8 of the way to expose a little room for evaporation and cook for 15-20 minutes until kabocha is easily forked.
    Cubed kabocha in a pot of boiling water.
  • Remove boiled kabocha and place onto a oven rack to eliminate any water absorbed into the kabocha (around 5 minutes). This step is extremely important, otherwise you won't achieve the correct texture.
    Boiled kabocha on a drying rack.
  • Next, add kabocha into a mixing bowl, along with Kewpie mayo and salt. Use the bottom of a fork to mash the kabocha until a smooth texture is formed. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with optional sesame seeds.
    Mashed kabocha salad.


Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 298mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 793IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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