When I visited my mom in Phuket in March 2009, I dropped by to see her everyday for her home cooked meal. I didn’t plan to tape this video with Kabocha and pork, but at that moment, I wanted to record her cooking and share it with my students. My mom loves to surprise me with my favorite childhood dish. And she knew best. I love her recipe with shrimp paste but you can omit it and use fish sauce and soy sauce instead to give it a flavorful salty flavor. Shrimp paste, soy sauce and fish sauce are Thai umami. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umami.
Phad Namtao Moo
Stir-fried Kabocha Pumpkin with Pork
This recipe combines pumpkin with pork – and it may not seem like one that appeals to you at first. Think of it as mashed potato with chicken broth next to pork chop gravy. The Kabocha melts in your mouth with a sweet taste and creamy texture. The shrimp paste leaves a hint of saltiness to contrast the sweetness of Kabocha, and the fried garlic enhances the flavor. Be adventuresome and try this as a side dish with steamed jasmine rice and curry dishes.
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons shrimp paste or 2 tablespoons fish sauce
¼ cup minced pork
3 cups Kabocha pumpkin chunks, seeds and skin removed
½ cup water or more as needed
Heat a wok on high heat, pour in canola oil and stir in garlic. When garlic is yellow, stir in shrimp paste and pork and cook until fragrant. Stir in Kabocha and add water to reach the top. Stir well, cover and let it cook until Kabocha is cooked in the center. Test by pressing a fork against Kabocha; it should break easily. You should taste a balance of salty and sweet from Kabocha.
Vegetarian option: omit pork, egg also popular instead of pork
Gluten-Free option: use wheat free soy sauce© 2009 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen I Love Thai cooking