Thai Stir-fried Pumpkin with Tofu and Basil

This delicious and spicy stir-fry is redolent with garlic and fresh basil. Serve it with steamed jasmine rice and sweet-hot Thai chile sauce.


1 pound kabocha pumpkin*
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons crushed yellow bean sauce (“tao jiew dam,” Happy Boy Brand, available at Asian markets)
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons stock (vegetable or chicken)
19 ounces firm tofu, cut into bite-size pieces
3/4 cup loosely packed Thai basil or Italian basil


Scoop out and discard the seeds and fibers from the pumpkin or squash. With a sharp, heavy knife or cleaver, chop it into quarters. Cut off peel of pumpkin and slice the pumpkin into thin, bite-size pieces.

Assemble all stir-fry ingredients.

Set a wok (or a large, wide skillet) over medium-high heat. When wok is very hot, add the oil. Rotate the wok to coat the sides with oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry briefly, just until golden and aromatic.

Add the pumpkin and stir-fry for 3 minutes.

Add the yellow bean sauce and brown sugar, and stir-fry until blended, about 1 minute.

Add the white pepper and stock and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

Add the tofu and stir-fry until it is heated through, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the basil and cook for a few seconds, just until the basil begins to wilt.

Serve with steamed rice.

*Butternut squash can be substituted for kabucha pumpkin.

SOURCE: Recipe adapted from True Thai: The Modern Art of Thai Cooking by Victor Sodsook.

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