I am still in the mood of loving Fall. Keep seeing the charm of Kabocha Squash, or Japanese Pumpkin, at the Oriental Market... Finally, I decided to cook with it again, though I just made Thai Pumpkin Custard last week.
This dish is basically a Thai red curry dish that I use Japanese pumpkin as the main ingredient. Beef is my choice of meat in the dish for I grew up always having beef in this pumpkin red curry - cooked either by my mom's or restaurant's'. However, I can see tofu, fried or soft, would work out great as well.
You will need:
1 can (4 oz.) Red Curry paste (I prefer Mae Sri brand)
1 can (14 oz.) Coconut milk (Chao Kao or Aroy-D brand)
1-1 1/2 lbs. Chuck Eye steaks, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 Medium-size Japanese Pumpkin (also called Kabocha Squash), cut into chunks
1 TBSP palm sugar
1 TBSP Thai fish sauce (Nam Pla)
1 cup water
1 cup loosely packed FRESH Thai basil leaves
1 Jalapeno pepper, cut into thin strips (optional - to add heat)
1. Fry Red Curry paste in 1/2 can of coconut milk, in a pot until fragrant, using medium-high heat. Keep stirring so it doesn't burn - until it is fragrant and becomes oily, about 3 minutes.
2. Add beef slices. Stir until mixed well with curry sauce and beef is almost cooked through.
3. Add the rest of coconut milk and pumpkin chunks. Then, add water then bring it to a boil.
4. Lower the heat to medium low, and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the beef is tender, and pumkin is soft but not mushy.
5. Add palm sugar and fish sauce. Stir well. Adjust the flavor to your taste. The sauce shouldn't be runny, nor too thick. You can add some water if it gets too thick.
6. Finally, add Thai basil leaves (and Jalapeno pepper strips), and turn the heat off right away. That way the leaves still maintain their bright green color. Serve with steamed rice, or whatever you like :)