- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 21 minutes
- Serves 4 to 8
Fried rice is very versatile—you can use any vegetables that are in season and turn them into a delicious dish in no time. Today, I’m sharing a fried rice that uses kabocha, perfect for my favorite season, fall. Adding squash to fried rice lends a lovely sweetness to this savory dish without much seasoning. Pan-frying the kabocha until slightly charred locks in its moisture and also makes tossing the rice much easier. When cooking, look for “dancing” grains, when some rice starts to jump up from the hot pan—this means it’s ready.
Rice is a staple food in my household and, with one look at my pantry, I can spot several types, like brown, sweet, sushi, basmati, and jasmine. These are my favorite grains to use depending on the dishes I’m making. I chose long-grain today because it’s usually drier when fried, which complements the softness of the kabocha. —WoonHeng Chia
Test Kitchen Notes
This dish is part of Residentsgiving—aka the Thanksgiving menu of our wildest dreams—created by Food52's resident experts-slash-superheroes. Devour the rest of the spread here, and while you're at it, learn how to Remix & Remaster your Thanksgiving. —The Editors
Neutral oil, for cooking
shallots, thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and diced
(about 3 cups) peeled kabocha cubes
cooked long-grain rice, cooled
Chile oil, for serving (optional)
- Set a wok or large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the shallot slices and fry until golden brown, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer the shallots to a paper-towel-lined plate. Season with salt.
- Using the same skillet with the remaining oil, sauté the shiitake mushrooms over medium heat until fragrant and browned, about 3 minutes, adding more oil along the way if the pan looks dry.
- Add the kabocha and toss in the oil (you can add more oil if needed). Arrange the cubes to sit in a single layer. Pan-fry, flipping occasionally, until the kabocha is starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock and cover the skillet with a lid. Cook until the kabocha is fork-tender and the stock is fully absorbed, about 3 minutes. Transfer about half of the kabocha to a plate.
- Add the rice to the pan. Stir in the soy sauce. Toss until the rice is coated, using the back of a spatula to press and break apart any rice clumps. Taste and season with more salt or soy sauce if needed.
- Fold in most of the fried shallots and scallions and turn off the heat. Garnish with the reserved kabocha and remaining fried shallots and scallions. Serve with a side of chile oil, if you’d like.