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Kabocha Squash Seeds on a small bowl.

Roasted Kabocha Squash Seeds (Tom Yum Flavors)

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  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This crunchy treat combines the nutty goodness of roasted kabocha squash seeds with the beloved flavors of Tom Yum, a classic Thai soup known for its spicy and sour notes. This unique snack is perfect for the fall season when kabocha squash is at its best. Healthy and tasty in every bite! 


  • 1 cup raw kabocha squash seeds
  • 1 tablespoon salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Tom Yum paste, add more or less as preferred
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice. Add more before roasting if you prefer more zing.
  • 1 tablespoon kaffir lime leaves, finely julienned 

Optional ingredients to add to the roasted Kabocha squash seeds:

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass. use about 
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped galangal. Use only a tiny bit, as galangal has a strong flavor. 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro stems. 
  • 1 tablespoon green onion chopped into tiny pieces.


  1. Prepare the Kabocha Squash Seeds. After removing the seeds from the kabocha squash, rinse them under cold water to remove any excess pulp. Pat them dry with a paper towel. 
  2. Boil, soak, or microwave the seeds. There are 3 ways to do this. Please see the prepping section above
  3. Coat the seeds. In a mixing bowl, add the seeds, Tom Yum paste, salt, oil, kaffir lime leaves and lime juice. Toss together until well coated. Take a small paste sample and adjust with more Tom Yum paste, salt, or lime juice as needed. 
  4. Roast to Perfection. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast them in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until they turn golden brown and crispy. Keep an eye on them, as they can roast quickly. 
  5. Garnish and serve! Remove from the sheet pan and allow the seeds to cool before sampling some. They are hot! Sprinkle thinly sliced kaffir lime, cilantro stems, and leaves to garnish. 

That's it! Enjoy!

Prepping the seeds before roasting

The Kabocha seeds must be soaked, boiled, or microwaved before roasting to soften their outer shells. This is crucial, especially for larger and older squash, as the shells can become tough to chew. Here are the 3 different methods you can do this.

1. On the stovetop

Bring 3 cups of water and 1/2 tablespoon of salt to a boil. Add the seeds and boil for 10 minutes. Strain the seeds, pat dry, and set aside for roasting. 

2. Microwave the Kabocha squash seeds

Combine 2 cups of water, 1/2 tablespoon salt, and kabocha squash seeds in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes on high. Carefully remove the hot bowl, strain the seeds, pat dry, and set aside for roasting. 

3. Soaking the seeds overnight

Add 3 cups of water, 1/2 tablespoon salt, and kabocha squash seeds in a medium mixing bowl. Stir to mix all the ingredients. Allow the seeds to soak overnight for up to 24 hours. The next day, drain, pat dry, and roast the seeds!


  • The Tom Yum paste adds a spicy and tangy kick to the seeds, but you can adjust the heat level to your preference by varying the amount of the paste used.
  • Kabocha squash seeds can be hard to find, so save them next time you cook with this Japanese pumpkin.
  • After roasting your seeds, add more ground white or black pepper if you want more spice. Paprika or large chili flakes add instant spiciness. Use chopped fresh green or red chili peppers if you need more heat. 

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  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Thai