Make Ahead

Kabocha Squash & Tofu Curry

October 14, 2013
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is not your mother's curry. Full of sweet, dense kabocha squash and light, flavorful tofu, it's perfect for a chilly autumn or winter evening. Feel free to throw in some kaffir lime or Thai basil if you happen to have them on hand. —Gena Hamshaw

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon organic sugar (you can substitute a tablespoon or two of agave or maple syrup)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable broth
  • one 14- or 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 pound kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (about half of a large squash, or 1 small squash)
  • 1 pound extra-firm tofu
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot or wok. Add the onion and cook till it's softened and fragrant (about 5 to 8 minutes).
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and let them cook for about a minute. Then, add the curry paste and sugar. Mix the ingredients together until the paste is evenly incorporated.
  3. Whisk in the broth, the coconut milk, and the tamari. Add the red pepper, kabocha squash, and tofu. Simmer till the kabocha squash is totally tender (30 to 35 minutes). If you need to add extra broth as the mixture cooks, do so.
  4. Season the curry to taste with extra soy sauce or tamari and stir in the lime juice as desired. Remove from heat. To serve, divide the curry over brown or basmati rice. Give each portion a small squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of fresh, chopped cilantro.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lindsay Melnick
    Lindsay Melnick
  • Mae
  • Nanda Garber
    Nanda Garber
  • KansasGardener
  • Emma Wulf
    Emma Wulf

20 Reviews

MorningStar March 3, 2020
The only thing I don't like (except for trying to peel raw winter squash and not bleed) is the vegetable broth. The taste seems out of place. Next time I'll use water.
HenOfTheWoods December 16, 2020
Kabocha squash does not have to be peeled! I have it, then roast it in the oven before adding to this dish
HenOfTheWoods December 16, 2020
Halve not have :)
Lindsay M. November 3, 2019
I modified this recipe and think it turned out delicious. First off, this recipe does not need sugar, and does need heat. I used 1 tbsp of agave and felt like it was too sweet. I will eliminate this next time. I added cayenne pepper to taste, I ended up more than doubling the broth. I roasted the kabocha squash following someone else's recommendation, cut up half of it and tossed it in. I added carrots, potato, broccoli, & zucchini to the pot & roasted the kabocha seeds which were served in a bowl as a garnish. I will make this again.
Mae February 18, 2019
Not sure what went wrong for me. The flavor is great, but not even close to enough liquid. I would double all ingredients except for tofu, squash, and bell pepper next time. I added broth and simmered with the lid on to retain liquid. There was hardly any liquid left when it was done, and the tofu burned to the pot :(
Wp January 22, 2019
Loved this! The Kobachais perfect in this dish. Sometimes the texture of Kobachais is strange, but it is so so good in this recipe. I followed the directions exactly and the only thing I might change next time is the addition of a little potato, but that's just bc I love them. This is a keeper and very easy
Nanda G. October 29, 2018
I did the first two steps using the Saute function in the Instant Pot, then added the ingredients from number 3 and cooked at high pressure for 5 minutes. Turned out great although definitely needed additional tamari at the end and I had to cook a bit if the liquid off. Next time I'll cut the time to 4 minutes and only use half of the vegetable stock. I'll may just add everything at once instead of the initial sauteing and see if it makes any difference in the end.
Beth K. October 29, 2018
Just made this for Meatless Monday. Used butternut squash, red lunch box peppers and added French green beans. It was absolutely delicious. Perfectly seasoned, not too sweet (I used a quick glug of Maple syrup). Going to add this to the rotation.
KansasGardener October 28, 2018
Someone below mentioned how difficult it is to cut the kabocha squash. The trick is to roast a whole kabocha squash (first making a few knife jabs to release steam) for one hour at 350F. It will be perfectly done and easy to cut into pieces for any recipe. (I'm not sure who told me this trick, or where I read it. Props to them for the original idea.)
Nanda G. October 29, 2018
Somehow I didn't have a problem cutting mine this time.
Ann October 22, 2018
Just made this dish and loved it. I sautéed the kabocha to get a little caramelization before adding it in. And I dredged the tofu in cornstarch and fried it and only added it in in the last 5 minutes. I might roast or sautée the kabocha for longer next time because I really love the extra flavor it adds!
Nanda G. October 7, 2018
What are the instructions for the tofu?
Molly November 16, 2018
I've made this before and I drained the block of tofu by wrapping it in a dish cloth and pressing for about 20 minutes under a heavy cast iron pan. Then I just cut the tofu up into cubes. It will absorb the flavor from the curry.
Emma W. March 10, 2017
Part of my love for kabocha has to do with the tender, edible skin! You can leave it be and avoid danger to your fingers :)
Val B. April 26, 2016
Love this dish! Thanks so much for the recipe <3
Leeann July 26, 2014
Loved the dish. It had a spicy kick that I liked; didn't add the tofu or cilantro but it was still really good.
bearcathat December 3, 2013
I made this for dinner last night however I made a few alterations. Instead of kabocha squash I used pre-cut butternut squash since I was pressed for time. I also used a 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk and added crushed red pepper for a kick. If I get a chance, I will try making this again with the kabocha squash. Thank you for the recipe!
Tinaindenver November 16, 2013
I followed the recipe and I really didn't like this dish. The sauce was too thin, it wasn't that tasty and the squash was very difficult to cut and peel. I probably won't even finish the leftovers.
Gena H. November 17, 2013
So sorry you felt that way!
souptastic November 8, 2013
This recipe was quick and tasty, I just subbed in chick peas for the tofu and added some diced yukon potatoes to thicken the sauce. So filling and hearty, and gets better the next day.