I love squash especially kabocha and butternut squash. The beautiful bright golden color makes not only a delicious treat but an eye catching one as well. They are used in serveral Cambodian dishes such as in this Stir-Fried Pork with Squash, Cambodian Steamed Squash in Banana Leaves (Num Lapov), Cambodian Ratatouille Soup (Somlaw Koko), Steamed Custard (Lapov Songkya) and many more. When my Mother use it in Somlaw Koko I usually pick only the squash and leave the rest to others.
Here’s a fun food fact history. The kabocha, however, was introduced to Japan by Portuguese sailors in 1541, who brought it with them from Cambodia. The Portuguese name for the pumpkin, Cambodia abóbora (カンボジャ・アボボラ), was shortened by the Japanese to kabocha. (source Wikipedia)
Cambodian Stir-Fried Pork with Squash (makes 1-2 serving)
(Cha Lapov Sach Jrook) ឆារល្ពៅសាច់ជ្រូក
1 small squash (kabocha or butternut squash), sliced
8 oz pork, sliced
2 stalks green onion (scallions)
5 bird’s eye chilies (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
dash of black pepper
Heat oil in a frying pan and add garlic. Quickly stir it around to prevent burning. Add chillies if using. Stir another 2-3 seconds until the chili starts to release it’s fragrant.
Add sliced pork and stir fry until they are at least 80% cooked.
Season with sugar, oyster sauce, and fish sauce. Stir to coat.
Toss in squash and stir to coat again. Cook 2-3 minutes depending on your preference of texture. Some like to have a bit of crunch while others prefer it nice and soft.
Turn off the heat and stir in green onions.
Serve with hot steamed rice. ENJOY!