The pumpkin I’m writing about is not the American pumpkin that you make your pumpkin pie/soup. It is actually called kabocha squash, but Chinese typically call it pumpkin or ‘nan gua’ in Mandarin. Feel free to use to use other types of pumpkin/squash if you like as long as they don’t have a high liquid content (or they will turn mushy after cooking).
All of our family members like kabocha squash, except Richard. So to lure him to eat this healthy squash I have to add some spices and be sure the squash is just cooked and not mushy. Indeed, the squash tastes very delicious– sweet, spicy and with the flavor of pork floss and aromatic curry leaves. Alexander and Ethan find it too spicy, but Richard just couldn’t have enough of it!
Aromatic Pumpkin/Kabocha Squash Recipe
1 lb kabocha squash ‘nan gua’
3 cloves garlic
6-8 Thai hot chili peppers
1 stalk of curry leaves
2 tbsp pork floss
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
- Remove skin, seeds and core of kabocha squash. Slice into wedges of 2 inch long and 1/4 inch thick.
- Finely garlic, hot peppers and curry leaves (remove the stem) separately.
- Heat a pan with 2 tbsp oil, pan fry squash on high heat uncover until the surface is slightly burned and brown, then flip to fry the other side. Continue frying until the squash reach firm softness. Turn down the heat a little if it brown too quickly. Dish out. Remain the heat.
- Add 1 tbsp oil to the pan, saute garlic, peppers and curry leaves until aromatic. Return squash to the pan, add sugar and salt then stir quickly. Sprinkle pork floss, toss quickly then dish out. Serve immediately.