Dice the unpeeled kabocha squash into 4 to 5 cm cubes. Place in a microwave steaming container with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water, and microwave until soft.
Drain the kabocha and chop the skin and flesh apart. Do not throw away the skin.
Add butter, salt, pepper, and a small amount of nutmeg (optional) to the kabocha and mash finely. Mix until smooth and set side to cool.
Make face parts with the skin. For the eyes and nose, slice into triangles. For the mouth, cut into a large half-moon shape and make two slits on both the top and bottom sides. For the stem, cut into a rectangle.
Divide the kabocha into 3 portions and form into oval shapes. Press in a toothpick to make 6 indentations. Press lightly with your finger and press the corners to make it round.
When the kabocha are shaped like above, press in the face parts.
Story Behind this Recipe
This is a Western variation of kabocha chakin-shibori (squeezed with a tea napkin), especially for Halloween!
If you want to make them sweet, add a little sugar with cinnamon. If the kabocha is too watery, microwave without covering to evaporate the water content. It might be easier if you adjust the size of the face after forming the kabocha .