If any of you have been to Osha Thai restaurant in SF, one of the best dishes there (in my opinion at least) is the Pumpkin curry. Every time I have had the dish, I keep telling myself that I could totally make this… and that’s exactly what I did. It’s taken a few tries and the assistance of a few websites, but I’ve got it down now!
-Aroy-D red curry paste (from 99ranch)
-1-2 cans coconut milk
-can of chicken broth
-kabocha squash (in chinese it’s 南瓜)
-red bell pepper
-1-2 chicken breasts or substitute with a package of baked tofu curd (the white one)
-thai basil, the one with the purple stem (from 99ranch), but regular basil works too
-2 pots- a larger one for the curry, and a smaller one to boil the pumpkin)
1. First things first. I always like to get everything diced and chopped first. Onions, carrots if you’d like, red bell pepper (into long slices), the pumpkin, and chicken (or tofu).
2. Peeling and cutting the kabocha is probably the hardest part of this recipe. Before you start, pour the chicken broth into a pot and bring to a boil (this will be to boil the pumpkin, so a smaller pot will do). In the meantime we will prep the pumpkin. I think at the restaurant they leave the skin on, but for me, I like to lightly peel the skin off (make sure you have a good peeler). I usually only use 3/4th of a small kabocha for this recipe (but more is always good too), so I’ll start by carefully cutting the pumpkin in half (splitting from the stem down). Then I’ll peel off the skin and dice them into cubes. Once the broth is boiling, toss in the cubes and boil in low heat for ~7-8 minutes. Sometimes if I use carrots, I’ll toss them in the last few minutes to cook together. Once the pumpkin is relatively soft ( where you can stick a chopstick/fork through easily), drain the pumpkin but reserve the broth.
3. Now in the larger pot, add ~3tbsps of the red curry paste and ~1tbsp oil and turn on the heat to medium. Then open the coconut milk can and scrape the thicker cream parts off from the lid and from the top of the can into the pot- save the milk for later. Mix until the paste is blended with the milk. If it’s looking a little dry you can pour a little of the milk in.
4. Then add the chicken and onions and cook ~5 minutes until the chicken is almost cooked.
5. Add in the rest of the milk,1 tbsp of fish sauce and ~3 sprigs of basil into the pot. Add carrots, 1/2 cup of the reserved broth from earlier and cook for another ~5-10 minutes until the carrots are soft. If the liquid is low, you can add some more coconut milk if you’d like, or add additional broth (I like a combination of the two).
6. Bring to a boil then pour in the pumpkin and red bell peppers and cook for another ~5-10 min. Thats it. I just happened to have had some sweet potato chips on hand so I crumpled some on top. Voila!