Scrumptious Seafood: Thai Yellow Pumpkin & Seafood Curry

Photo by Francesca Yorke.

As Halloween is coming up, it seemed wrong not to explore the possibilities of merging pumpkin with seafood. In a nod to the season, here is Nigella Lawson‘s delicious curry. Depending on how liberal you are with the curry paste, it could also turn out to be a wonderful cold cure!

Make sure to shop for your seafood with care – wild salmon and spot prawns, northern trap-caught prawns or farmed closed system prawns are your SeaChoice best choices.


  • 1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk
  • 1 – 2 tablespoon red thai curry paste (or yellow)
  • 350 ml fish stock
  • 3 tablespoons thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 stalks lemongrass (cut into 3 and bruised with flat of knife)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (destalked and cut into strips)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 kilogram pumpkin (peeled and cut into bite sized chunks)
  • 500 grams salmon fillets (pref organic) skinned and cut into large bite sized chunks
  • 500 grams peeled raw prawns
  • pak choi (or any other green veg of your choice)
  • juice of 1 lime (to taste)
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander (to serve)


  1. Skim the thick creamy top off the tin of coconut milk and put it, over medium heat, into a large saucepan or casserole with the curry paste. Let it sizzle and, using a fork, whisk or wooden spoon, beat milk and paste together until combined.
  2. Still beating gently, add the rest of the coconut milk, fish stock, fish sauce, sugar, lemongrass, lime leaves and turmeric. Bring to a boil and then add the pumpkin. Cook on a fast simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes, although different sorts of pumpkins can vary enormously in the time they take to cook; some squash take as little as 5 minutes.
  3. You can cook the curry up till this part in advance, maybe leaving the pumpkin with a tiny bit of bite to it (it will soften and cook as the pan cools). Either way, when you’re about 5 minutes away from wanting to eat, get ready to cook the seafood.
  4. So, to the robustly simmering pan, add the salmon and prawns (if you’re using the prawns from frozen they’ll need to go in before the salmon). When the salmon and prawns have cooked through, which shouldn’t take more than 3-4 minutes, stir in any green veg you’re using – sliced, chopped or shredded as suits – and tamp down with a wooden spoon.
  5. When the pak choi‘s wilted, squeeze in the juice of half a lime, stir and taste and add the juice of the remaining half if you feel it needs it. Take the pan off the heat or decant the curry into a large bowl, and sprinkle over the coriander; the point is that the coriander goes in just before serving.
  6. Serve with more chopped coriander for people to add to their own bowls as they eat, and some plain Thai or basmati rice.
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