It’s a really close tie between pumpkin and cabbage as my all time favourite vegetable, and I’ve always loved pumpkin with Asian flavours. A few weeks ago at home I was playing around with pumpkin and satay and it turned out better than I ever expected. So naturally it made the Christmas list this year.
Serves 6 to 8 as part of a banquet
Ingredients 1 butternut pumpkin, deseeded, with or without skin, and chopped into large chunks Olive oil
Satay sauce 40ml coconut cream 40ml sesame oil 40ml sweet fish sauce (to make: mix 125ml fish sauce with 250g palm sugar and 125ml water in a pot, bring to the boil and simmer until it has the consistency of maple syrup. Alternatively, use maple syrup.) 3 tbsp peanuts, roasted and crushed 2 tsp sesame seeds, roasted and ground 1 tbsp chunky peanut butter 20g raw sugar ½ stalk lemongrass (pale part only) ½ knob turmeric 1 clove garlic 1 dried birds eye chilli, finely crushed 1 tbsp vegetable oil ½ cup coconut cream 1½ tbsp tamarind water 75g roasted peanuts ½ tbsp light soy sauce
Garnish Thai basil Chilli o’s (chopped chilli rings)
Method To make the satay sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set half the sauce aside for garnish.
Place your roasting tray in the oven and heat to 200°C.
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin with half of the satay sauce mix and some olive oil and coat well.
Remove the roasting tray from the oven and line with baking paper. Pour the pumpkin and satay sauce into the tray and move around so that the pieces are all separated and the sauce is spread out. Drizzle a little extra olive oil over the pumpkin and then return to the oven.
Roast for 15–20 minutes turning occasionally if needed. You are looking for the pumpkin to take on a deep dark golden hue. The sauce will caramelise and go quite dark. This is where the depth of flavour really comes from.
Remove from the oven.
Plate up with some Thai basil and chilli o’s. Heat the remaining satay sauce and serve on the side.
To complete the Chin Chin Christmas banquet, find the rest of the recipes in Chin Chin: The Book, which can be purchased online here or for $49.95 in any of The Lucas Group venues, including Chin Chin, Hawker Hall, Kong BBQ and Baby Pizzeria.