thai seafood pumpkin curry

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Thai Seafood and Pumpkin Curry

By , from the Culinate Kitchen collection
Serves 4
Total Time 1 hour


This recipe — a streamlined version of one found in Nigella Bites — is similar to, but far less labor-intensive than, Su-Mei Yu’s Thai Curry Gaeng Koa. If you’ve got all the ingredients on hand, the only challenge is dealing with the squash (and, sometimes, a bony piece of fish). Plan ahead, and you’ve got a filling, warming, spicy dish for a cold night.


1 medium autumn squash (about 2 pounds), such as kuri, butternut, or other Asian pumpkin
1 lb. raw shrimp, fresh (or defrosted) bay scallops, or firm-fleshed fish fillet, such as salmon, black cod, or halibut
1 Tbsp. peanut oil
1 medium onion or a few shallots, diced
2 to 4 garlic cloves, diced
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
4 anchovies, minced (optional)
2 Tbsp. red, green, or yellow Thai curry paste
2 Tbsp. grated palm sugar or brown sugar
1 lemongrass stalk, outer leaves discarded, chopped into 1-inch segments
4 kaffir lime leaves
3 Tbsp. fish sauce (nam pla)
1 can (13½ to 14 ounces) coconut milk
1 cup broth (fish is best, but vegetable or chicken are fine too)
2 cups jasmine rice
cups fresh (or defrosted) green beans and/or 1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips (optional)
~ Zest and juice of 1 lime (preferably a fresh kaffir lime, if available)
~ Fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Prep the squash and seafood: Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, slicing it in half, discarding the seeds, and slicing it into smallish bite-size cubes. Peel the shrimp, if you need to, or remove the pin bones and skin from the fish; cut the fish into bite-size cubes.
  2. Cook the curry: Put the oil into a large Dutch oven or wok. Add the onion and sauté over medium to medium-high heat for several minutes, then add the pumpkin and cook for several minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Add the anchovies (if using), curry paste, and sugar, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the lemongrass, lime leaves, fish sauce, coconut milk, and broth. Turn the heat down to a steady simmer.
  3. Cook the rice: While the pumpkin is cooking, wash the rice until the water runs clear, then cook the rice in 2½ cups of water. Bring the water to a boil briefly, then turn down the heat to low and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  4. Finish the curry: When the pumpkin is just starting to get tender, add the green beans and/or bell pepper, if using, and simmer until barely tender. Add the shrimp, scallops, or fish, and simmer for a few minutes, until the seafood is just cooked. Stir in the lime zest and juice.
  5. Serve the curry: Ladle individual portions of curry into small bowls. Serve with the rice on the side and the cilantro leaves sprinkled on top as a garnish.

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