Oct 7, 2019

Thai Red Coconut Curry with Pumpkin

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
The cooling flavor of the coconut milk contrasts with the taste of the nutty roasted pumpkin and the slightly spicy effect of the curry paste. The impressive bright color of this vegetarian Thai curry is perfect for a cozy fall day.

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The cooling flavor of the coconut milk contrasts with the taste of the nutty roasted pumpkin and the slightly spicy effect of the curry paste. The impressive bright color of this vegetarian Thai curry is perfect for a cozy fall day.

Thai Red Coconut Curry with Pumpkin

About Curry Paste

  • Homemade curry paste is the freshest and most flavorful option, but it can take a little more time to make. One batch of this red curry paste can last for two to three recipes.
  • Just store the leftover curry paste refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use. It lasts up to a month.
  • If you want to substitute store bought curry paste that is fine. My favorite brand is Mae Ploy because it contains shrimp paste which adds a salty/ umami flavor (it can be found online here or at stores like Target and Ralph’s).
Thai Red Coconut Curry with Pumpkin recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Pumpkin – Small, sweet varieties of pumpkin typically labeled “sugar pie” or “pie pumpkin” are the best option for roasting. Larger types have a tougher texture and lack the flavor of smaller pumpkins. Save the seeds from the pumpkin and roast for a snack.
  • Thai Birdseye chili – Bird’s eye chilies or Thai chilies are small, pointy chili peppers that pack a punch. They add an intense heat with fruity flavor to dishes rating between 50,000 and 100,000 Scoville units. They can sometimes be difficult to find so I usually buy a large bag of them at my local Asian market. I store them in the freezer in a resealable plastic bag.
  • Shallot – Shallots have a mild, slightly sweet flavor. If needed swap in yellow or red onion in this recipe. The general rule of thumb is 3 medium shallots equal 1 medium onion.
  • Potato – The potatoes are simmered in the broth until fork-tender. I use classic Russet potatoes in this soup though waxy potatoes work very well because they hold their shape more.
  • Chicken stock – Chicken stock is typically made from chicken bones as well as aromatics and vegetables while chicken broth is made with the meat. How does that affect their flavor? Chicken stock has a much richer, more robust flavor which comes from the collagen released from the simmering bones. On the other hand, chicken broth is much more mellow in flavor. I typically use chicken stock when cooking. In a pinch the chicken stock can be substituted with water though it takes away some of the flavor.
  • Fish sauce – I love the funky umami flavor fish sauce adds to any dish. It’s a great way to enhance the flavor of curries or even chicken wings. The flavor comes from a process of fermenting fish over a long period of time.
Thai Yellow Coconut Curry with Pumpkin recipe from cooking with cocktail rings closeup

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • Dietary restrictions? Here’s an alternative:This recipe can be made vegan by substituting vegetable stock for the chicken stock and omitting the fish sauce.
  • Try substituting ramen noodles for the rice noodles.
The cooling flavor of the coconut milk contrasts with the nutty roasted pumpkin and the slightly spicy red curry paste.

Other Recipes to Try

Thai Red Coconut Curry with Pumpkin

chunks of pumpkin in a red coconut curry broth with thin noodles in a white bowl topped with pumpkin seeds and cilantro
Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the red curry paste:

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 medium shallots
  • 2- inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 5 medium Thai chilies
  • 2 dried California chilies (dried Anaheim chilies)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, tender parts sliced only
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 (3-pound) sugar pumpkin, seeds removed, peeled and chopped into 2” pieces
  • ¼ cup red curry paste
  • 2 (13.5-ounce) cans coconut milk
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce, optional

For serving:

  • 7 ounces thin rice noodles
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • Handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Instructions:

For the red curry paste:

  • Heat a medium non-stick sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the coriander and cumin, shaking the pan occasionally until the seeds are toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Heat oven to broil. Peel the garlic cloves. Arrange the garlic, shallots and ginger on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until garlic is fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add to the bowl of a food processor with the Thai and California chilies, lemongrass, curry powder, coriander and cumin, processing and scraping down the sides as needed until pureed and smooth.
  • Can be made and stored, refrigerated, in an airtight container until ready to use for about 2 weeks.

For the soup:

  • Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and heat through. Add the onion, carrots, potatoes and pumpkin, cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the red curry paste and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup of the coconut milk and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes then add the remaining coconut milk and chicken broth, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and fish sauce and remove from heat.

For serving:

  • Add the rice noodles to a bowl of hot water and let sit until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Divide the noodles among soup bowls and ladle the curry over the top. Garnish with green onion, cilantro and pepitas.

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    • While I haven’t tried it, I would recommend making the full cake then letting it cool to room temperature and at this point wrapping it up and if you are planning on eating it within the week then refrigerate and otherwise wrap it up and freeze it. Let it defrost or come to room temperature and reheat in the oven at 350ºF. Hope this helps!

    • So sorry about that! Oversight – all fixed. It’s 1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped. Thank you for alerting me to this error! Your input helps make my recipes better!

    • I’m not going to lie – it was an oversight on my part! I changed it 🙂 but I had originally tried it with yellow curry then decided to change it to homemade red curry and liked it better then clearly forgot to change the title of the recipe (insert facepalm)