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Thai Yellow Pumpkin and Seafood Curry

by . Featured in NIGELLA BITES
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Introduction

It's a good idea to have something up your sleeve that you can cook quickly, and simply, when you've got friends coming over to supper midweek after work. This is that something. Don't let the length of the list of ingredients put you off. You really could go to the supermarket at lunchtime and buy everything you need. What's more, most of it keeps: salmon, raw prawns, lime leaves and lemongrass in the deep-freeze (and all but the salmon can be used from frozen); curry paste in the fridge; the coconut milk, fish sauce, fish-stock concentrate and turmeric in the cupboard. In other words, one shopping expedition, many curries.

I've said 1-2 tablespoons of curry paste. This is because pastes vary enormously in their strengths and people vary enormously in their tastes. Some like it hot: I like it very hot - and use 2 tablespoonfuls. But it might be wiser to add 1 tablespoonful first and then taste later, once all the liquid's in, to see if you want to add more. One last bossy note: if you can't get raw prawns, don't use cooked ones; just double the amount of salmon.

It's a good idea to have something up your sleeve that you can cook quickly, and simply, when you've got friends coming over to supper midweek after work. This is that something. Don't let the length of the list of ingredients put you off. You really could go to the supermarket at lunchtime and buy everything you need. What's more, most of it keeps: salmon, raw prawns, lime leaves and lemongrass in the deep-freeze (and all but the salmon can be used from frozen); curry paste in the fridge; the coconut milk, fish sauce, fish-stock concentrate and turmeric in the cupboard. In other words, one shopping expedition, many curries.

I've said 1-2 tablespoons of curry paste. This is because pastes vary enormously in their strengths and people vary enormously in their tastes. Some like it hot: I like it very hot - and use 2 tablespoonfuls. But it might be wiser to add 1 tablespoonful first and then taste later, once all the liquid's in, to see if you want to add more. One last bossy note: if you can't get raw prawns, don't use cooked ones; just double the amount of salmon.

Thai Yellow Pumpkin and Seafood Curry
Photo by Francesca Yorke

Ingredients

Serves: 4-6

Metric Cups
  • 1 x 400 millilitres tin coconut milk
  • 1 - 2 tablespoon red thai curry paste (or yellow)
  • 350 millilitres fish stock
  • 3 tablespoons thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 stalks lemongrass (cut into 3 and bruised with flat of knife)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (destalked and cut into strips)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 kilogram pumpkin (peeled and cut into bite sized chunks)
  • 500 grams salmon fillets (pref organic) skinned and cut into large bite sized chunks
  • 500 grams peeled raw prawns
  • pak choi (or any other green veg of your choice)
  • juice of 1 lime (to taste)
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander (to serve)
  • 14 ounces tin coconut milk
  • 1 - 2 tablespoon red thai curry paste (or yellow)
  • 1½ cups fish broth
  • 3 tablespoons thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 3 stalks lemongrass (cut into 3 and bruised with flat of knife)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (destalked and cut into strips)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2¼ pounds pumpkin (peeled and cut into bite sized chunks)
  • 1½ pounds salmon fillets (pref organic) skinned and cut into large bite sized chunks
  • 1 pound shell-off raw shrimp
  • baby bok choy (or any other green veg of your choice)
  • juice of 1 lime (to taste)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (to serve)

Method

  1. Skim the thick creamy top off the tin of coconut milk and put it, over medium heat, into a large saucepan or casserole with the curry paste. Let it sizzle and, using a fork, whisk or wooden spoon, beat milk and paste together until combined.
  2. Still beating gently, add the rest of the coconut milk, fish stock, fish sauce, sugar, lemongrass, lime leaves and turmeric. Bring to a boil and then add the pumpkin. Cook on a fast simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes, although different sorts of pumpkins can vary enormously in the time they take to cook; some squash take as little as 5 minutes.
  3. You can cook the curry up till this part in advance, maybe leaving the pumpkin with a tiny bit of bite to it (it will soften and cook as the pan cools). Either way, when you're about 5 minutes away from wanting to eat, get ready to cook the seafood.
  4. So, to the robustly simmering pan, add the salmon and prawns (if you're using the prawns from frozen they'll need to go in before the salmon). When the salmon and prawns have cooked through, which shouldn't take more than 3-4 minutes, stir in any green veg you're using - sliced, chopped or shredded as suits - and tamp down with a wooden spoon.
  5. When the pak choi's wilted, squeeze in the juice of half a lime, stir and taste and add the juice of the remaining half if you feel it needs it. Take the pan off the heat or decant the curry into a large bowl, and sprinkle over the coriander; the point is that the coriander goes in just before serving.
  6. Serve with more chopped coriander for people to add to their own bowls as they eat, and some plain Thai or basmati rice.
  1. Skim the thick creamy top off the tin of coconut milk and put it, over medium heat, into a large saucepan or casserole with the curry paste. Let it sizzle and, using a fork, whisk or wooden spoon, beat milk and paste together until combined.
  2. Still beating gently, add the rest of the coconut milk, fish broth, fish sauce, sugar, lemongrass, lime leaves and turmeric. Bring to a boil and then add the pumpkin. Cook on a fast simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes, although different sorts of pumpkins can vary enormously in the time they take to cook; some squash take as little as 5 minutes.
  3. You can cook the curry up till this part in advance, maybe leaving the pumpkin with a tiny bit of bite to it (it will soften and cook as the pan cools). Either way, when you're about 5 minutes away from wanting to eat, get ready to cook the seafood.
  4. So, to the robustly simmering pan, add the salmon and prawns (if you're using the prawns from frozen they'll need to go in before the salmon). When the salmon and prawns have cooked through, which shouldn't take more than 3-4 minutes, stir in any green veg you're using - sliced, chopped or shredded as suits - and tamp down with a wooden spoon.
  5. When the baby bok choy's wilted, squeeze in the juice of half a lime, stir and taste and add the juice of the remaining half if you feel it needs it. Take the pan off the heat or decant the curry into a large bowl, and sprinkle over the coriander; the point is that the coriander goes in just before serving.
  6. Serve with more chopped coriander for people to add to their own bowls as they eat, and some plain Thai or basmati rice.

Additional Information

For gluten free check the curry paste is gluten free.

For gluten free check the curry paste is gluten free.

Tell us what you think

What 13 Others have said

  • I made this on a cold winters night last week after watching a very old episode of Nigella Bites. I made mine all vegetarian, adding also a tin of chickpeas and a handful of raw cashews. A bunch of Thai basil at the end gave it a lovely something extra too.

    I can highly recommend this recipe, it was a comforting bowl of sunshine in the middle of winter.

    Posted by Emgyres on 6th July 2016
  • I could not cook - then I made this curry about 10 years ago and discovered I could. I have not looked back. It is foolproof and delicious and everyone loves it.

    Posted by Begg on 16th December 2014
  • I have made this soup so many times, it is almost a weekly meal and it never fails to delight, especially in the fall and winter. Guests always ask for the recipe and I usually oblige. I made some changes- I use veggie stock and don't usually use the prawns, but just double the salmon which I put in just before serving. It is super fast to make, just make sure to keep your pantry stocked with stock, fish sauce, coconut milk and lemon grass (which you can replace with lemon juice if you can't find) and you are good to go!

    Posted by wonderground on 29th October 2014
  • Careful. Highly addictive!

    Posted by Philomeno on 3rd February 2014
  • This is an incredible recipe! I made it for my boyfriend when he had a cold, a perfect mix of fresh herbs, seasonal veg and spice. Yummy.

    Posted by rachael-smith on 15th October 2013
  • Absolutely delicious. Just be careful not to overcook the pumpkin.

    Posted by ajdbarros on 4th January 2013
  • I have made this recipe umpteen times now. And, without fail, the guests ask for the recipe!

    Posted by lilymarlene on 12th December 2012
  • So nice on a cold night with good friends round.

    Posted by pip353 on 1st February 2012
  • Not having all the ingredients, I had to improvise. But even so, the result was splendid! Great recipe, delicious curry. Thanks for this one!

    Posted by ajdbarros on 1st January 2012
  • I've not made this yet, but can't help wondering. 500g salmon, 500 g prawns, 1 kg of squash. And that's for four to 6 people? Wowie. I've got a good appetite, but I'm not sure I could eat that much in one sitting, especially if it's eaten - as thai food usually is - with plenty of rice to mop up the hot curry sauce. That said, it sure looks good, and I've put it on the menu for this week.

    Posted by ianinfrance on 18th October 2011
  • I tried this for lunch today.My family absolutely loved it.Thanks Nigella,u r a blessing.

    Posted by shams on 26th September 2011
  • This is one of my favorites! I can't get enough of this delicious curry!

    Posted by Carly0305 on 26th September 2011
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