Kabocha vs Buttercup

by HEAB on January 19, 2010

I used to think that kabocha and buttercup squashes were one in the same, but in fact, they are not. My local Asian market confuses myself and other Nashvillians by sticking Kabocha sticker labeled squashes under a big sign that reads Buttercup. So, I went straight to the expert, reader Carolyn. The girl knows her squash and was kind enough to send me the following pictures and tips when seeking out my beloved kabocha.

top view (my favorite left).jpg

Above left is a kabocha squash, and the one on the right is a buttercup. Notice the difference in shape.

The kabocha stem shape is different as well…not squishy. It’s more like a tree trunk.


However, the single most important characteristic is that tiny button bottom.. no variation in it.. smooth, non issue.. If it’s bumpy or raised, or two levels, even if it is not a traditional buttercup cap, it still ain’t a kabocha butt...


There ya have it my friends – How To Distinguish Kabocha 101.

As far as the difference in taste goes, I know I’ve accidently bought buttercup squash before, but I couldn’t really remember what it tasted like. It was still good, but according to Carolyn, the buttercup is wet and kinda goes to goo no matter what you do to it…and didn’t make a good fry. Kabocha tastes more substantial. The texture of kabocha is denser to me and there is just a taste to it that is different. It stays in chunks easier.

So, to all of you who have asked me the difference, I hope this info. helps. :)

I’ll be back with more in a just a bit.