This pumpkin ginger mash is an easy, healthy side dish that infuses mashed pumpkin with fresh ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
Kabocha pumpkin has a naturally sweet taste, which is further enhanced by roasting. This side dish goes particularly well with rich roast meats.–Kimiko Barber
Pumpkin Ginger Mash
- 1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- Sea salt
- 2 pounds, 10 ounces unpeeled pumpkin such as kabocha or pie pumpkin, quartered and seeded
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter softened
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- Freshly ground white or black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
- In a small bowl, stir together the vegetable and sesame oils. Brush the inside of the pumpkin with the oils and then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Place the pumpkin, rind side down, in a roasting pan and bake until very tender, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Scoop the pumpkin from its rind and place it in a bowl.
☞TESTER TIP: If your pumpkin seems a touch watery, strain it in a fine mesh sieve for a few minutes before mashing to help the mash thicken.
- Add the butter and use a potato masher to mash until very smooth.
☞TESTER TIP: Some pumpkins and squashes tend to be stringier than others. It’s just sorta like Russian roulette. So if yours is particularly stringy, mash a little longer or try puréeing it with a high-powered blender.
- Stir in the soy sauce and the ginger and then season to taste with salt and ground white pepper. Serve warm.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This roasted pumpkin recipe gave me all the fall feels! The nuttiness of the toasted sesame oil really played well to the more prominent flavors from the soy sauce and ginger. It’s so yummy that you’ll probably be asking for seconds, whether you’re a pumpkin lover (like myself) or a pumpkin hater! I definitely could’ve eaten all four servings by myself.
I served it alongside a pork loin and simple salad and it was the perfect pairing—especially as the weather gets colder.
I used pie pumpkins because I saw a local farmer selling them at a curbside stand. I roasted them for the full 60 minutes to maximize tenderness. My only tip would be to let the pumpkin cool a bit before scooping out the flesh, otherwise you’ll end up with burnt fingers or a messy oven mitt!
A wonderful twist on tradition using the beautiful, naturally sweet flavors of roasted pumpkin or squash with umami-rich soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. This delicious vegetable side dish may not replace your favorite pumpkin pie or roasted acorn squash but deserves it’s own place at the fall banquet table.
I chose a beautifully marbled orange and green kabocha squash for this dish. While it was slightly stringy (some pumpkins are, some aren’t, and I’ve yet to figure out which is which from the outside!), I was able to easily mash it with a potato masher. The stringy texture actually gave a little bite to the mash, which would have been rather like baby food, I’m afraid, had it not been there. Actually, I believe this would be a great baby food if pureed! I know my girls would have loved it as tots.
I did not find that it needed any additional salt (between that which was sprinkled on when roasting and the soy sauce) and only the slightest bit of ground white pepper to give it a kick.
The only complaint I have has more to do with the individual squash I used than the recipe itself, which was that it was a little watery, which I’ve found tends to go along with the stringy texture of some squash. If, like me, you find your squash to be stringy, I would highly suggest straining it a little bit before adding the butter and mashing to remove a little of the excess water. As it was, the flavor was delicious but the texture needed a little thickening. I will definitely be trying this one again, especially as I have better access to more pumpkin and squash in the next month or two and hope to share this recipe with those who come to visit our pumpkin patch as a wonderful option for using some of those beautiful pumpkins!
Although roast pumpkin is plentiful in our house in the fall, I’ve never considered mixing it with ginger and soy sauce. I was surprised how deeply savory and satisfying that combination is. It’s surely one that I’ll repeat.
I used a slightly smaller kabocha pumpkin than was called for but it still served five, maybe even six people. I paired it with roasted salmon and a freekah salad. I went back for seconds so quickly.
I used a potato masher to mash the pumpkin and although it was slightly stringy, it didn’t bother me. I used black pepper instead of white and it was fine. I used extra ginger, closer to 2 teaspoons, and I don’t regret a thing. This recipe was so delicious and a great variety from the typical butter, salt, pepper, and cinnamon combo that’s been my safety for years. I have a new go to!
I was delighted to see the first pumpkins appear at the farmers market right after Labor Day, and, despite it still being summer weather, I couldn’t wait to try this out! And, wow! This is a keeper of a squash recipe, especially for those of us with a preference for savory over sweet, both in general and in specific in the autumnal world of squash, sweet potatoes, yams, and the like.
Despite using a pie pumpkin instead of kabocha, my mash looked just as delicious as the photo. You could certainly try to make four servings out of this one pumpkin, but your fellow diners or guests will definitely want seconds, so I’d advise counting on larger portions. To be honest, I could make a meal of this, eating it right from the bowl. And though it would hold its own on a holiday table, because of the toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, and ginger combination, this could also snuggle into a meal with a more Asian focus.
I confess to being scared of the power of white pepper, so I used it sparingly, advice I would give to anyone not familiar with it—I feel a little white pepper goes a long way, and even a bit too much can easily overpower an otherwise wonderful dish.
Originally published November 17, 2020