There is SO much I want to say about this Japanese pasta salad and also I don’t want to give too much away at the same time because you need to try it for yourself! It’s very much Japanese-style in terms of flavors and ingredients but then it’s still reminiscent of the classic creamy pasta salad you know and love.
I’ll definitely opt to bring this Japanese pasta salad to all my picnics and barbecues from now on. It’s hella impressive and exceptionally tasty!
The idea was inspired by my love for kabocha squash, my Japanese background, and the fact that May is Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month. Check out these other Asian and Pacific Islanders for recipe inspo in this epic list that VegNews put together.
This month I already made the delectable sushi bowl but I’ve still been thinking about Japanese flavors. Watch how it comes together in the video below!
The sweet roasted kabocha squash along with veggies like corn, red onion, and kale make one killer combo! Then I went and added roasted seaweed, cilantro and black sesame for more complex flavor and texture. And the creamy miso dressing ties it all together to make one heck of an experience in your mouth! I also think the creamy miso dressing would also make an awesome sauce for burgers and sandwiches.
Japanese pasta salad with roasted kabocha
This exceptionally tasty pasta salad is like the creamy classic but with a Japanese twist! It combines a creamy miso dressing with seaweed, black sesame, kale, corn and my fave squash.
roasted kabocha squash (about 3 cups)
- 1 x 2 lb kabocha squash, cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp avocado oil (or other high-heat vegetable oil)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 3 C dried orecchiette pasta
- 2 1/2 to 3 C stemmed and finely chopped lacinato kale (about 1 small bunch)
- 1 C fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1 C finely chopped red onion
- 1/4 C finely chopped cilantro
- 1 x 5g pkg seaweed snacks, cut into strips
- 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
creamy miso dressing (makes about 2/3 cup)
- 1/2 C vegan mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp mellow white miso
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Add cubes of kabocha squash to a large baking sheet. Add avocado oil, garlic powder, sea salt and ground pepper and toss with your hands to coat well. Spread out in an even layer and bake for 30 minutes, flipping half way through the bake time.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook paste to al dente. Just before draining add kale and corn to the water, stir to submerge, then drain together. Do not rinse. Let cool until room temperature before assembling the pasta salad.
To make the dressing combine the mayonnaise, miso, water, lime juice, garlic and chili flakes in a blender until smooth or combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and ensure to finely mince the garlic to incorporate.
Once pasta and roasted kabocha squash is cooled toss together with red onion, cilantro, seaweed, black sesame seeds and all the dressing. Serve immediately. You can also toss everything together and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. I like letting the pasta salad sit out to take the chill off from the fridge before eating.