Cut the kabocha squash into about 1.5 cm cubes, place in a microwave-safe container, and rinse with water. This time I used 350 g of kabocha squash.
I didn't remove the peel since it's packed with nutrition, but the salad is smoother if the peel is removed. Of course, if you don't like the peel, go ahead and remove it. Also, you could use frozen kabocha squash instead.
Drain the kabocha squash, leaving it a bit moist, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 6-8 minutes at 600 W. If the kabocha squash is not fully cooked, microwave some more.
Be careful not to burn yourself when removing the plastic wrap!! Once the kabocha squash is tender, mash lightly with a potato masher while it's still hot.
Cut the cream cheese into 2 cm squares and mix it into the kabocha squash while it's still hot.
Season with mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Taste, and add sugar if needed (be sure to season with pepper lightly, taste, and adjust if needed).
Once cooled, transfer to a serving plate, and it's done.
You could add raisins at Step 6 if you'd like. I like to add raisins to my salad.
The sweetness from the kabocha squash tends to stand out more without the raisins. This is how my child and husband like it.
Story Behind this Recipe
According to the original recipe my sister-in-law taught me, it says to peel the kabocha squash, boil, and dry it in the pan, but I didn't want to remove the peel since it's highly nutritious. I just used the microwave to simplify the steps.
You could use 2 portions (18 g) of "Kiri" brand cream cheese instead. If you don't like the peel of the kabocha squash, remove the peel. If it's too bothersome, you could skip mashing the kabocha squash. If you like your salad to be creamy, add 5 tablespoons of mayonnaise!! Adjust the amount of sugar depending on how sweet the kabocha squash is.