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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Pumpkin with Minced Meat and Basil


Last Friday my partner took me to a Thai restaurant for dinner. It was our first time there and as usual he left the ordering to me. "My boss", he pointed to me when the waitress approached. He always does that.

I took a while to go through the menu and I spotted a dish called Chicken with Basil. That would be nice, I thought and ordered it together with another 3 dishes. Sorry, I don't have any pictures of our meal. I still find it awkward to take photos in the restaurant. Paiseh (embarrassed).


When the chicken came, it turned out to be minced chicken (not so exciting to me). I thought that it would be chicken pieces (something like Three Cup Chicken). Oh well, too late. But when I had my first taste, it was very good. And I was suddenly reminded of Baby Sumo's Stir Fried Minced Pork with Thai Basil. My partner seemed to enjoy the dish and he commented that the basil was very fragrant. I agreed. And I thought to myself that I could cook this at home.

I had minced pork in the freezer and basil in the garden. And because I had some pumpkin in the fridge, I decided to incorporate it into the dish as well. It was a great way to clear my fridge :) I was too lazy to go upstairs to check Yen's recipe and I reckon that fish sauce and light soya sauce can't go wrong. 


My dish came quite close and I was happy. With the addition of pumpkin, this made for a substantial side dish. I was very pleased that the "not so exciting minced chicken" led to this discovery!










Pumpkin with Minced Meat and Basil
Recipe source : Phong Hong

Ingredients :
- 600g pumpkin, cut into cubes
- 200g minced meat
- 1 big onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon light soya sauce
- 1 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce (because I prefer the vegetarian version)
- 1 tsp dark caramel sauce
- a handful of Thai basil leaves
-  some water
- pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon tapioca flour (or cornflour) mixed with two tablespoon of water 

Method :
1. Heat oil in wok and saute minced onions until soft and translucent.
2. Add garlic and fry until lightly browned.
3. Add minced meat and stir fry until the color turns opaque.
5. Add fish sauce, oyster sauce and caramel sauce and stir.
6. Add pumpkins and stir to mix with the sauce and other ingredients.
7. Add some water and cover the dish and simmer, stirring every now and then until pumpkin is tender.
8. If there is still some gravy in the wok, thicken with the tapioca mixture.
9. Serve immediately.

56 comments:

  1. Hi PH, I was drooling over your lemon pound cake and then saw this dish popped up...nice! My mom usually cooks pumpkin with hei bee (dried shrimps) and we all just loved it! I usually have lots of leftover pumpkin whenever I bought one so this is a good go to recipe to try, simple and nice!

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    1. Hi Jeannie! Yah, usually pumpkin is stir fried with dried shrimps. I love it too and whenever it is available at the chap fan stall, I will be sure to take a serving. This one is good too. More variations to cook pumpkin.

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  2. I always love anything with basil. You should open a restaurant !!

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    1. Hi Chris! No lah, I cannot cope with restaurant. Just pretend to be a chef at home good enough :)

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  3. Haha so funny when he says 'my boss'.. My bosses are the kids.. Eat what or go where also must think of them first.. Food ngam them or not, got air cond or not, etc.. Haha.. I terbalik, I let my hubby order but I tell him in advance la what I wana eat from that restaurant.
    When I see pumpkin, I think of dried shrimps.. The inly way I cook pumpkin is stir fry pumpkin with garlic and dried shrimps, can throw in some curry leaves if you want.. Thats all.. Oohh and also making G's puree baby food.. Other than that I dunno how to cook pumpkin one leh.. Can bookmark your recipe, can do I think, minus the fish sauce coz I've got none..

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    1. Hi Louiz! You can leave out fish sauce and just use oyster sauce. It will still taste good. One more thing I want to do with pumpkin is to bake pumpkin cheesecake. Wait lah, one of these days :)

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  4. ah I think this dish would be so nice to go with rice!! I don't know why, but maybe it's just me, anything that comes with minced meat and a little gravy would be a great company to my rice, hahaha!! and pumpkin and basil too, make the dish even sweeter and more aromatic.. I bet your partner loves it a lot?? :)

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    1. Hi SK! Oh yes, this goes well with rice, Take the pumpkin, minced meat and gravy and mix it into the rice. So heavenly! I think my partner likes it because so far he didn't say anything. Which means no complains lah hee..hee...

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  5. Yes, I tried something like this before too! Basil with pumpkin blend well together.. Looks easy to cook too, PH.. I wonder if I can do that.... hahahaha... I love basil leaves.. it goes well with lala, eggs.. egg plants...

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    1. Claire, of course you can cook it. Look at the dishes you cooked so far, good lah! This one is simple but tastes so good.

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  6. I guess it is good to replicate a dish after we have taste it at a restaurant and here you are.....a great dish created from Phong Hong's kitchen. Im sure it taste great too....extra bowl of rice for me please.

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    1. Hi Mel! Sometime the dish can be recreated but sometimes, do not know the "secret ingredient". So far, this is good and definitely you will need an extra bowl of rice!

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  7. With this dish, i can eat extra bowl of rice, hehe...

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  8. Hi Phong Hong, another yummy pumpkin dish you have here. I still remember your stir fry pumpkin with minced meat and taucheo. This one with basil leaves must be as good too. I can get basil leaves from my neighbour's garden to cook this and share with him a little, hehehe!

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    1. Hi Kimmy! I hope you try this one too. I am sure your neighbour would be delighted to sample your cooking in exchange for his basil hee..hee...

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  9. Hi Phong Hong, Hi5! Me too, feel very paiseh to take photograph of food in any eatery. If I really like to take the pic, would usually ask my girls to take it, hahaha.. This dish is very flavorful as anything that paired with basil is very yummy. I used to use Thai Basil for meat dishes and pumpkin too. Warmest regards :)

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    1. Hi Ivy! Hi5 for loving basil! So fragrant and makes the dish so delicious.

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  10. Hi Phong Hong, I wonder why you could link the dish to '3 cup chicken' hee hee ... anyway, this minced meat with pumpkin & basil looks tasty and fragrant ^-^

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    1. Hi Karen! I remembered that 3 Cup Chicken uses basil and I once tasted it at a buffet and it was very good. Somehow I have not cooked it before but I think I will now that I have an abundance of basil!

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  11. I eat beef so I usually opt for beef basil ;P

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    1. Lina, beef basil should be yummy too. But my partner does not eat beef so I can't order that. Or maybe I will. I whack all by myself hee..hee..

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  12. Read somewhere *cham loh dunno whatapps or blog* that drinking pumpkin juice could lower LDL.

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    Replies
    1. Really? I must google that. But instead if drinking the juice, better eat the pumpkin. Hope Bananaz likes pumpkin :)

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  13. o.O Googled about 3 cup chicken so its Taiwanese and not Sawasdee cup..learn a new dish name today.

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    1. Yup, famous Taiwanese dish. It's delicious too!

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  14. How creative and highly maximize the usage of ingredient you are!
    The best part is with such mixture you still get a yummylicious dish,bravo!!

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    1. Hi Aunty Young! I cook like that because I don't know how to make pumpkin kueh hee...hee...

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  15. Pumpkin gravy and summore with basil leaves... I like and this dish is suitable for the kids...because of the gravy.

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    1. Hi Angeline! Yes, very kid friendly dish provided they don't mind the smell of basil :)

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  16. this dish looks very mouth watering ..... i only know to cook pumpkin with dried shrimp and onion :) ini kah labu yang bergrowing kat rumah tu

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    1. Ini labu came from the supermarket. The one in the garden boh liao. Your bro told me that it will overtake the garden and very difficult to fruit. So I destroyed the plant. But the bittergourd ada buah kecik. Try this recipe. Something different from the dried shrimp version.

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    2. i meant the seeds from ini labu lar.....bertabur kat istana u :)

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    3. hah..hah..hah,...mu ni kelakor sunggoh! No, not the seed from this labu. A much earlier one.

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  17. Gosh!!! Taking ages to load! My connection on strike today... Tsk! Tsk!

    My daughter loves pumpkin but we usually cook with sambal udang kering...or just bake in the over. When she's not home, we cook kampung-style sayur rebus, she is not all that fond of it this way. Also use instead of sweet potatoes to cook porridge but never tried doing it this way. So versatile, this pumpkin. I love pumpkin soup too - the western style, never tried cooking that either

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    1. Pumpkin is really beautiful! I love the taste and can never get tired of it. I have been meaning to look for cangkuk manis and cook it with pumpkin. Must keep that in mind when I go grocery shopping.

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  18. I like to eat basil so any food cooked with basil will be nice to me. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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    1. So mun, are you going to cook? hee..hee...

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    2. You won't believe this but there is no kitchen in my place. Lol!

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  19. I used to dislike pumpkins, but now I started to like them, don't know why, haha xD

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    1. Hayley, pumpkin taste very good. I love it very much and can never get tired if it!

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  20. it's not a pumpkin time here (I saw only one in a shop but I was not sure whether it was rape enough) but good inspiration for a pumpkin season!

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    1. Ola, I love pumpkins a lot! Good thing that we have pumpkin here all year round.

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  21. I have never made a savory dish with pumpkin before! This looks fantastic!

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    1. Cathleen, you should cook something savoury with pumpkin. It's really delicious!

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  22. Hi Phong Hong,
    I love, love, eating pumpkin! This sounds delicious and a nice addition of the basil leaves. Isn't it great to use herbs from the garden! :)

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    1. Hi Joyce! I love it that I can just go outside and pluck herbs. Fresh organic produce hah..hah..

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  23. so when the bill comes, does your husband point to you and say' she is the boss? ' hehehe...
    i like the taste of basil ..and had just made 3 cups chicken..

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    1. Lena, when it comes to paying he is the boss muahahaha!!!

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  24. Howdy Phong Hong ! I cooked this dish several times and everyone loves it too. You may also try this with taro & dried shrimps.
    Have a great weekend.
    Blessings, kristy

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    1. Hi there, Kristy! Nice to hear that! Sure, I love taro and taro with dried shrimps sounds like my new favorite dish!

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  25. I ate Thai food all my life and I didn't know that. When I started working, I ate Mixed Rice often at the coffee shops. I went home telling my mum why her cooking was so different but the mixed rice dishes were nicer and different.

    My mother is a Thai and just smiled. I was that stupid last time.

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    1. hahahaha! TM, your Mum is so sweet, she just smiled. That's the thing, you eat great Thai homecooked food all your life and you took it for granted :)

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