Did you know that spaghetti squash is not native to China? Here is what you need to know about this stringy vegetable that’s become a Singaporean favourite!
A brief history of the spaghetti squash
Spaghetti squash is a cylinder-shaped plant that comes in different colours. With the botanical name cucurbita pepo, It belongs to the family of zucchinis, gourds and the venerable pumpkin. This delicious and easy-to-cook squash grows in the winter and is also known as vegetable squash, Mandarin squash and noodle squash because of its stringy texture once cooked. Squash is native to Central America, but the spaghetti variety somehow made its way to northern Manchuria in China in the 1850s where it became a winter staple. Mandarin squash comes with a heavy dose of vitamin A, potassium, beta-carotene, fibre and folic acid.
Spaghetti squash is actually a vegetable. It’s a low-calorie food, providing only 40 calories in one cup cooked. And it’s a fun food rich in antioxidants, potassium and fiber. You can also use it as a delicious alternative to pasta. The orange-coloured type provides the highest amount of beta-carotene.
How to cook spaghetti squash
You can cook this vegetable in a variety of ways. It can be steamed, baked or roasted. Thanks to its tough and hard rind, you can either cut the vegetable into smaller slices or cook whole. Thereafter, you can shred the stringy flesh with a fork to make noodles. It has a tender, crunchy texture and a mild flavour when cooked.
This vegetable combines well with a wide range of ingredients and dishes. It absorbs flavours quickly and goes well with greens, garlic, onions, tomato, thyme, mint, cucumber, mushrooms, oregano and peppers among others. You can also pair it with different meat varieties, seafood, fish sauce, soy sauce, cheese, cream, nuts and so much more! Many people enjoy the vegetable with a meat sauce comprising ground meat such as chicken, beef or pork, mushrooms, garlic and tomatoes or chilli. You can also mix it with pasta to reduce your calorie intake and it combines perfectly with shrimp scampi!
Availability of spaghetti squash
Despite being a winter squash, this vegetable is sold year round all over the world. It is available at most large supermarkets, farmers’ markets, grocers, and online. When shopping for this vegetable, look for those with a hard, dense feel without bruises or spots. Go for squashes that measure at least five inches at the girth and nine inches in length.
Craving spaghetti squash in Singapore? This vegetable is wildly popular in Singapore and you can find it in many homes and restaurants. Check out this delicious meal at Steven’s Delivery served with toasted farmer bread, mushrooms and bacon!