I have a favorite Thai restaurant around these parts and they serve the most delicious pumpkin curry I’ve ever tasted.
Actually, I take that back. They serve the only pumpkin curry I’ve ever tasted.
But….it’s seriously one of those dishes that you wake up craving at 3am and one of those dishes that you don’t stop craving until drive across town the next day, order and devour. It’s spicy, rich and full of veggies, tofu and pumpkin. Or in this case, kabocha squash.
To make this curry, I ventured down the street to my local Asian market. Holy thai food goldmine! Why do I not shop here normally?! I was able to buy that tofu, the red curry paste, the coconut milk, the chilies, the thai basil and the lime leaves all for only five dollars. Best grocery trip of my life right there. Seriously…if you have never been to an Asian grocery store, now is the time!
Once I got home, throwing together this curry only took about half an hour (after roasting the squash, which you could easily do ahead of time) making it a perfect weeknight dinner.
Be on the watch that you use red curry paste, not sauce for this recipe! Trader Joe’s makes a tasty red curry sauce but what you really want is the concentrated flavor of the paste. Again, this was like….a dollar at Asia Mart. #win
You could also sub cooked chicken breast slices for the tofu in this recipe. I just made it with tofu because that’s what I ordered last Friday night at my Thai place.
Seriously, I wanted to drink this sauce with a straw. It’s definitely the closet to “authentic” Thai curry I’ve ever gotten at home. You must make this!!! Really…if you were debating making the pad thai I made last week, make this instead. Then make that next week. And invite me over for dinner.
Thai Red Curry with Kabocha Squash
1 large kabocha squash
8 oz firm tofu, cut into bite sized chunks
1 large handful green beans, cut in half
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn (check your local Asian market for these)
6 Thai basil leaves, chopped (check your local Asian market for these, too)
1 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp red thai curry paste (not sauce…paste)
1 (15-oz) can coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
2 red thai chilies, pierced several times with a knife
cooked jasmine rice for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil on a foil lined sheet tray. Slice kabocha squash, remove seeds, and place cut-side down on the sheet tray. Roast squash halves for about 30 minutes until tender. Remove and let cool completely.
In a large pot or deep pan, heat the canola oil over medium high heat. Add the curry paste and mash into hot oil so all the paste gets incorporated. Then, slowly drizzle in the coconut milk, whisking continuously until all milk has been added and no curry “clumps” remain.
Add water, torn kaffir lime leaves, thai basil, fish sauce, brown sugar and thai red chilies and bring to a simmer. Add red bell peppers and green bean halves and continue simmering sauce for about 15 minutes until vegetables are just cooked but not mushy.
Peel or slice kabocha squash away from peel. Chop into large chunks and add along with the tofu to the curry sauce. Serve curry over jasmine rice (don’t eat the chilies!).
1.25 hours (includes time to roast the squash)