Recipe of the Moment: Blue Kuri Squash and Salmon Curry

Sometimes I will go to an Asian grocery store or find a new vegetable that I have never heard of. Sometimes (especially if in a small Asian Market) I don’t even have the english name for it. I take it home and google the name until I get a sense of how to use it. A few weeks ago, I came across a Blue Kuri Squash. I had never heard the name before, but it looked a little familiar – one of those squashes that sits in the produce area and gets passed over due to it’s weirdness or, if lucky enough to be taken home, sits upon the dining room table as part of a holiday setting only to be thrown out when it gets wrinkly and soft.

Such a sad squash situation!

As you can see, the humble Blue Kuri Squash is actually quite stunning when sliced open. Unlike many winter squashes, it’s skin is thin enough that it can be eaten; this saves time in the kitchen since you do not have to peel it before or after cooking. Kuri squash is a relative of Kabocha squash, which I first discovered when learning about Macrobiotic Diets at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Like kabocha, it has a lovely sweet flesh that counters the bitterness of curry. It can be used instead of butternut or acorn squash in risotto, pureéd soups, or roasted in the oven and enjoyed with salt and pepper or even cinnamon and maple syrup! Like many winter vegetables, Blue Kuri squash is rich in beta-carotene – a perfect winter food for strong vision in the dark months.
After spending some time on Google and assessing what I had in my kitchen, I created the following recipe. It is adapted from one here (the Split Pea). The sweet squash counters the bitter curry well and the salmon plays a mild role in this soup, yet it’s weight adds heartiness to the meal. The spinach adds color and makes it easy to get a serving of greens in (kale would go well here, too).

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1-3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely grated (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of Thai green curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons Indian curry powder
  • 12 oz. of coconut milk
  • 5 cups of chicken broth
  • 2  tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1/2 Blue Kuri Squash, cubed into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 fillet of salmon, cut into large chunks (apx. 2 pounds)
  • 12 oz. bag spinach
  • 1 tablespoon honey (helps counter all the bitterness of curry spices)
  • sprinkle of salt
  • Cilantro and scallion for garnish

Heat the oil in a large enamel cast iron pot, or dutch oven. Place the onions, garlic, and ginger in the oil and sauté for about 3-5 minutes.

Add the curry paste and curry powder, stir to combine and sauté for another minute.

Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, fish sauce, chili sauce, Kuri squash, and stir. Bring everything to a boil, lower the temperature and simmer for about 10- 20 minutes, or until the squash has cooked through.

Add the salmon, honey and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the salmon  has cooked through (do not cook too long or the salmon will be tough and the squash will be mushy). Taste and adjust seasoning as needed (it needs to have a good salty, sweet, tart, and spicy balance). Serve with chopped cilantro and scallion, along with lime wedges.

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