Kabocha Fried Rice

October 27, 2021
7 Ratings
Photo by Julia Garland. Prop Stylist: Molly Fitzsimons. Food Stylist: Lauren Lapenna.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 21 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 8
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • Neutral oil, for cooking
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and diced
  • 1 pound (about 3 cups) peeled kabocha cubes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 4 cups cooked long-grain rice, cooled
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 handful chopped scallions
  • Chile oil, for serving (optional)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • K.V.
  • Linda Ranger
    Linda Ranger
  • Laura415
  • mlledaffodil

8 Reviews

K.V. January 16, 2022
I like all of the ingredients, just wasn't sure how they'd come together. It's a good marriage.
mlledaffodil January 9, 2022
Love the idea of kabocha, both earthy and sweet, plus the mushrooms, meatier those animal protein bits in traditional fried rice. Added shredded kale because I love a stir-fried lettuce in my rice
andrea S. November 19, 2021
Once I started measuring the ingredients out, I understood the egg question. This is quite a bit of rice with some pumpkin and salt (soy sauce). I was aiming for a vegetarian dinner, but it was so heavy on the rice and no protein that I added chopped chicken thigh that was languishing in my freezer (chopped & sat in cornstarch + sherry + soy sauce to defrost quickly). We ended up adding black garlic sauce + chili oil (me) or sriracha (hubby) to give it some complexity. Reducing the rice amount to 3c while leaving everything else the same may balance things out. Adding some protein makes it more of a meal than a side dish.
Linda R. November 4, 2021
I just made this. I roasted my squash before I stead of pan frying. I also replaced 3/4 of the rice with riced cauliflower. So good! Thank you for the recipe!
Emily November 1, 2021
I know it would t be vegan, but perhaps I will add an egg when I try this. It sounds so nourishing and warming! Thank you.
Emily November 1, 2021
Sorry. Wouldn’t be vegan.
Laura415 November 4, 2021
That sounds great for a meal. A fried egg would make a lovely sauce. It's definitely plant based and still vegetarian. Lots of goodness there.
mlledaffodil January 9, 2022
You can add extra firm tofu to get that same texture and protein kokumi as the omelette bits of an egg