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Kabocha squash soup in a bowl.

Thai Kabocha Squash Soup

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Low Lactose


When it comes to soul-warming comfort food, few dishes can rival a bowl of heartwarming Thai kabocha squash soup. This delightful comfort food combines the rich flavors of kabocha squash with the savory goodness of baby pork ribs, resulting in a silky and satisfying soup perfect for chilly nights and early fall dinners. 


  • 1 pound kabocha squash, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 5 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper or 2 teaspoon whole white peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup cilantro stems cut into 1-inch pieces. Or four cilantro roots
  • 1 cube Thai pork boullion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups water
  • 1.5-pound baby back ribs cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup green onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce, more to tast
  • Garnishes: Cilantro leaves, sliced green onions, and ground white pepper


Cutting a whole kabocha squash will be the toughest part of this recipe. Don't worry. It's not that bad. It takes some strong grips and a sharp knife. Read my full blog post with photos on how to cut a kabocha squash here.

  1. Cut the Kabocha Squash. Cut the kabocha squash into large chunks but bite-size, 1-2 inch pieces, leaving the skin on. Set aside until ready.
  2. Make the paste. Pound garlic, cilantro roots, and white pepper in a stone mortar and pestle until you have a rough paste. A spice grinder works if you don't have a mortar and pestle. 
  3. Prepare the Soup Base. Add the paste, salt, bouillion water, and baby pork ribs in a large pot or Dutch oven. On medium-high heat, bring the stock water to a rolling boil. Turn the heat down slightly between medium to medium-high heat. 
  4. Simmer the Soup. Cover and let the soup simmer for a rich flavor infusion. Cook until the pork ribs are tender, around 30-40 minutes. Remove scum as necessary for a more clear broth. 
  5. Cook the kabocha squash. Add the kabocha squash and green onion to the brothy soup. Cook until its fork is tender but not too mushy. Around 6-9 minutes. Use a fork to test the texture of the kabocha.
  6. Seasoned, Garnish and Serve. Taste the soup and add fish sauce and soy sauce as needed. The broth should be very tasty, even without the sauces. If you love the flavors, stop here, and you're done. If you want/need more flavors, add fish sauce and soy sauce. 

Serve the soup hot, garnished with chopped green onions, cilantro, and a dash of ground white pepper for a light kick of heat. Enjoy your kabocha squash soup! 


  • To make this soup vegan or vegetarian, you can substitute the baby pork ribs with plant-based protein sources like tofu or tempeh.
  • Kabocha skin is edible, adding extra nutrients and texture to the soup. Feel free to peel or leave them on as you prefer. Or perhaps try both for your first time! 
  • Unsalted stock or broth can be used for this recipe for added flavors. Use half the amount of bullion if using stock or broth. I recommend vegetable stock for vegetarian or plant-based soup or use chicken broth otherwise. 
  • Kabocha squash is often called the "Japanese variety of winter squash" due to its popularity in Japanese cuisine. Look for that label if you are having difficulty finding them. 

** Thank you so much for visiting my blog! This is truly a passion for me. If you have enjoyed these recipes and appreciate the hard work I put into them, I would love it if you would share them with your friends! Your recommendation is the highest review I could hope for, and I’d appreciate it! **

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Soups
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai