Steamed Beef and Buttercup Squash

My favorite squash is Kabocha squash, but unfortunately it is seldomly available in the city I live in.  So I always go with buttercup squash, which can closely resemble a Kabocha squash.  When cooked, the flesh is a little bit dry, sweet, and mild; and tastes like something between sweet potato and chestnut. 

I like to steam a buttercup squash whole with skin on.  The tough skin can keep the steam moisture out so that the flesh doesn’t get soggy.  I also like to steam it with meat.  The mild squash flavor goes well with pork, beef or chicken. 


1 medium sized buttercup squash
1/2 lb chuckeye beef
1/4 cup rice
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 to 1 tablespoon spicy bean sauce (available in Asian grocery store)
1/2 teaspoon rice cooking wine
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/3 piece of fermented bean curd (available in Asian grocery store)
1/4 cup chicken stock
salt to taste



Thinly slice the beef.  In a bowl, add beef, white ground pepper, soy sauce, rice cooking wine, sesame oil, fermented soy bean curd and salt; mix well and let the beef marinate for at least 20 minutes. 

Cut off about 1/5 of the squash.  With a spoon, take the seeds and any inside squash tissue. 

Heat a wok over medium low heat with rice and Sichuan peppercorns in it.  Stir occasionally until the rice turns slightly brown.  Grind the rice and Sichuan peppercorns in a coffee grinder for 5 to 6 seconds. The rice should be coarsely ground now.  The Sichuan peppercorns will add a bit of kicks to it.

Add ground rice and chicken stock to the beef; mix well again.  Make sure each piece is evenly coated with ground rice. 

Stuff the squash with marinated beef. 

Steam it for 50 to 60 minutes. 

Cut the squash into 8 or 10 slices.  Serve immediately.