Smoked Pork and Kabocha Squash

Smoked Pork and Kabocha Squash

This traditional Hmong dish is simple and packed with early fall flavors!

Ingredients

1/2 bunch pumpkin vine, chopped
1 medium kabocha squash, halved, cleaned, cubed
1 pound Asian smoked pork, bacon or ham hock, cut into bite sized pieces
5 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 stalk lemongrass heart, pounded, cut into 3-inch pieces

Preparation

Wash the pumpkin vine. If the vine is thick, remove the thick veins from the interior. If the vine is primarily leaves and thin stems, skip this step.  

Chop into bite sized pieces and set aside. Peel the kabocha and remove its innards. Then cut it into bite sized pieces and set aside. Cube the pork, and if it has bones, reserve them.  

Put the water, salt, lemongrass, and bones, if you have them from the ham or pork, into a soup pot and bring to a boil. Add the pork and simmer 10-15 minutes, until almost cooked, but still pink in the middle. Add the kabocha and vines and cook until the squash is tender but not mushy.