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.