Recipe: Steamed Korean Sweet Squash Stuffed w/ Smoked Duck Breast

steamed korean squash w/ smoked duckYou may have read in a previous post that I love duck. My husband loves duck. Our children love duck. It’s like the bacon of poultry. Only better. This recipe is inspired by a dish we tried out at an amazing duck shabu-shabu restaurant here in Seoul–we couldn’t eat enough of it. We don’t often eat Korean sweet squash, or kabocha, because, well, it’s a bit too sweet for our tastes, but as the oh-so-delicious and savory duck fat soaks into the squash, it cuts some of the sweetness and turns it into perfection! Yes, I know I’m being dramatic, but really… It’s that good!

This dish would be appropriate as an appetizer or as a dish served at a cocktail party. Korean sweet squash is relatively small, so (sadly) you can only stuff a limited amount of duck breast into the squash.

Also, smoked duck is very easily found in most grocery stores and marts in Korea, so this recipe is simple to prepare if you live in Korea. However, acquiring smoked duck breast is more challenging in the States. You would either need a smoker to prepare your own duck, or smoked duck can be purchased from online retailers like Nueske’s or D’Artagnan.

Steamed Korean Sweet Squash Stuffed with Smoked Duck

Paleo / Whole30

approx. 1/4 lb of smoked duck breast, sliced
one small onion, sliced
3-4 green onions, diced
one Korean sweet squash

1. Combine the duck breast, onion and green onions in a mixing bowl and set aside.

smoked duck breast 1

2. With a sharp knife, very carefully cut into the top of the squash to create a removable lid. Removing the top can be a bit challenging since the seeds and fibers in the center of the squash hold onto the “lid.” This takes a bit of strength–I usually call my husband in to give me a hand!

korean sweet squash3. Scoop out all the seeds and fibers from the center of the squash with a spoon.

korean sweet squash deseeded

4. Turn the squash over and cut 3-4 slits into the bottom of the squash to allow liquid to drain out as it cooks.

5. Stuff the squash with the duck/onion mixture.

duck stuffed korean sweet squash

6. Replace the lid and steam for 45 minutes or until squash is tender.

7. Very carefully remove the squash from the steamer–it will be VERY HOT! Place on a plate or serving dish and slice into 12 pieces.

steamed korean squash w/ smoked duck







    1. I’m sure it can be done! I’ve had oven-roasted sweet squash before, but it’s cooked after it’s been sliced up, so I don’t know if it would make a difference that it’s a whole squash… No way to know unless you try! 😉

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