January 6, 2015

Chinese kabocha squash and sesame pancakes

Stack of kabocha squash and sesame pancakes.

It's already Week 10 of 12 Weeks of Winter Squash! I have been trying to get a recipe posted for every week of the event because we have so many winter squash in the basement and a variety of kinds. This event helps me to not only use them up, but makes me come up with new ways to use them because I already have a lot of winter squash recipes posted. So far I've been successful in getting a new recipe ready for each week.

This recipe is inspired by this one that I've been interested in trying. After several unsuccessful tries to find glutinous rice flour at a few different stores, I found sweet rice flour at an Asian market around the corner. It worked and they were delicious! We ate these as an appetizer to orange chicken and rice. I did not make these as sweet as the couple of recipes I read. They were still plenty sweet, especially with a drizzle of honey. They'd also be a fun dessert. They are crunchy on the outside and creamy and sweet in the middle. Kabocha is one of my favorite winter squash - it's so colorful, sweet, and dense.

Side view of a stack of Chinese kabocha squash and sesame panckaes.

This recipe will make about 15 little pancakes. You can easily adjust it by adding more or less rice flour until you get the proper consistency.

Chinese kabocha squash and sesame pancakes
1 small kobocha squash
pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon honey, plus more for drizzling
about 1-1/2 to 2 cups glutinous (or sticky/sweet) rice flour
coconut (or vegetable) oil, for pan frying
about 1/2 cup sesame seeds

Kabocha squash and sesame pancake with a bite out.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the sesame seeds in a shallow bowl.

Halve your squash and scrape out all the seeds and strings. Place the squash cut-side up in a baking dish and bake until you can piece the flesh and skin with a fork, about 35-45 minutes.

Let the squash cool until you can hold it. Then scrape out the flesh into a large bowl and mash it with a potato masher until pretty smooth. You want to end up with about 1-1/2 cups of mash (a little more or less is fine). Stir in salt and honey. Then begin to stir in the rice flour 1/2 cup at a time. You want to keep adding it until the mixture becomes dough-like and holds its shape.

Heat a castiron or other non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a couple tablespoons of oil.

Take the squash mixture about 2 tablespoons at a time and roll it into a ball in your hands (if it starts to fall apart, stir in a bit more rice flour). Gently flatten it into a disc shape about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Gently place the pancake on the sesame seeds and coat each side.

Place in the hot pan. Cook until golden on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat until all the squash mixture has been used.

Serve warm with a drizzle with honey.

Chinese kabocha squash and sesame pancakes topped with honey.

What was I cooking one year ago?: salted preserved lemons
Two years ago?: stout macaroni & cheese
Three?: olive oil-almond cake w/ vanilla mascarpone cheese
Four?: pecan crusted chicken
5?: tomato-basil sou


  1. These sound great, what a brilliant idea for squash!

  2. Mmmm, these sound fantastic, ESPECIALLY with orange chicken! We're having a stew with butternut squash tonight, then a roast with acorn squash tomorrow, so we're definitely huge squash fans here, too! Happy 2015, friend!

  3. What a unique recipe! These look sooo tasty! You're finishing off 12 weeks of winter squash with a bang!

  4. I love Chinese food, thanks for giving us this fantastic recipe!

  5. Dear Amy, This sounds absolutely wonderful. I would love to try this.
    Happy New Year. xo Catherine

  6. Kabocha is one of my favorites too, and these little pancakes would be hard to resist! :)

  7. I can never get enough squash at this time of the year. Love this recipe! Really good. Thanks --and Happy New Year!

  8. What a wonderful pancake! I can only imagine its warm and comforting bite!

  9. Don't any winter squashes over here..these pancakes look mouthwatering!

  10. These pancakes look stunning! We don't have such a squash type but I guess the simpler ones will do as well!

  11. I've had that recipe bookmarked also!! These pancakes sound super delicious. I actually have a kabocha squash that I need to use up, come to think of it...

  12. These are perfect! I roasted a very large Kabocha about a month ago and have 2 containers of pulp in the freezer. I've been waiting for this recipe. Love the sweet and savory!

  13. Hi Amy, that pancake look really good and appetizing. Well done. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    Happy new Year to you and all at home. Wish you all the best in 2015.

  14. These look so good with the sesame seeds! Another great use of winter squash.

  15. Every time I go to an Asian market, I wonder why I don't visit more often! They have great stuff, that you can't find anywhere else - which allows us to create amazing recipes like this one! Putting it on my list to visit my Asian market next week! Thanks for the reminder.

  16. I just ate dinner but now you have me craving some pancakes! This recipe is unique to me so I can't wait to try it!

  17. Dear Amy, your pancakes have a gorgeous color from the squash - what an appetizing looking treat to have on one´s dinner plate - love the little stack that you made and the addition of sesame seeds finishes this off in a tasty and pretty way as well - your recipe ceratinly looks libe a great idea for using kabocha squash!
    Have a lovely Sunday,

  18. Hi Amy,
    I've tried just a few times of these pan fried pancakes but haven't attempted it. I couldn't take too much glutinous rice flour as caused indigestion although some of my favourite snacks are made of glutinous rice flour.
    Seeing your yummy pancakes made me drooling over them ^-^!


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