Braised Spicy Pumpkin (肉碎燜南瓜)
I mentioned in the past that Chinese cuisine puts a big focus on the balance between protein and vegetables. In a given meal it is very common to see a good combination of protein dishes and veggie dishes or a one pot meal that contains a good split of protein or veggies.
I am not a vegetarian but I was raised eating meals with this kind of protein/veggie balance and when I prepare for a meal I always try to stick to this principle.
To me, nothing beats a stir-fried leafy vegetable with some minced garlic. It’s quick, easy, and delicious. Best of all, one can use the same method to cook a wide range of vegetables such as bok choy, Chinese broccoli, spinach, kale, and many other leafy varieties you can think of.
I thought I could just rotate difference types of stir-fried veggies and I’ll never get tired of it until one day I just couldn’t do this more. So today I wanted to make something else, something that was out of my comfort zone.
When I was at an Asian supermarket searching for a vegetable to cook, these small-sized Japanese pumpkin or kabocha really struck me. Pumpkin didn’t usually end up being in my kitchen but I remembered liking this braised pumpkin dish a while ago so I eager to make that dish myself.
I had some leftover minced pork and dried shrimp from the dry fried string beans I cooked the day before so decided to make a braised pumpkin using all the leftover ingredients and with a touch of Sichuan.
If you are suspicious about how pumpkin’s sweetness can fit into this savory dish you ought to give it try. The flavor from the meat and shrimp is fully absorbed by the pumpkin and the combination is just delicious.
Although it was a rather spontaneous cooking I still managed to snap a few pictures while I was at the stove:
In a wok, brown the ginger and then cook the meat and shrimp.
Add the pumpkin cubes and rest of the ingredients. Cook until tender.
Serve this dish hot with some steamed rice 🙂
What’s your favorite pumpkin dish?