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Recipe Heather Teoh of Eat the Wind

Thai Pumpkin Curry

This dish is fairly spicy, but if you want it even spicier, add one or two bird’s eye chilies or add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. 

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Printable Recipe in English
Printable Recipe in Spanish
Printable Recipe in Hmong
Video tutorial: Facebook or YouTube


  • 2 small squashes/pumpkins, such as kabocha (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (Thai Kitchen has a good one)
  • One 15-oz can light coconut milk
  • 2 Thai bird’s eye chilies or ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, only if you want it extra spicy!) Use a pair of scissors to cut them into small pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar
  • 1 cup French beans, halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • ½ yellow onion, quartered
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 5 to 7 basil leaves, torn (if you can find Thai basil, it’s even better)

Instructions for Adults

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Assist with supervision of safe knife skills and stovetop.

Instructions for Kids

Cut the squashes in half and spoon out the seeds. Cover a baking sheet with foil and brush olive oil on it. Put the squashes on the baking sheet, meat side down. Roast for 30 minutes, or until tender but firm when pierced with a knife.

Start cooking the rice in either a pot or a rice cooker. Cook according to instructions on the package of rice.

In a large wok or deep fry pan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the curry paste to the pan and mix it with the oil. Stir them together over medium heat until fragrant, for about 10 seconds. Spoon off the thick layer of coconut milk in the can and add that to the paste in the pan. Mix together. Slowly pour in the rest of the milk and keep stirring until the paste is mixed together (about a minute or two).

Add ¼ cup water to the sauce, along with the chilies or cayenne pepper (if using), fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a simmer.

Spoon out the orange meat of the squash. Add the squash, bell peppers, green beans, onions, basil, and cayenne (if using), and stir over medium-high heat until the vegetables are cooked but still a little crisp.

Enjoy with the hot rice, garnished with cilantro.


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