SEASONAL FAVOURITE | GINGER SESAME & PUMPKIN DIP WITH PRAWNS

Wet mornings with a slight breeze and heavy downpour in the late afternoons. That's the "fall" season in Singapore. Such pleasant weather indicates the time for toasty, comforting soups, dips and porridge, to bring up the body temperature and keep the doctor away. This season is all about pumpkin! A fine pumpkin is equally at home with savoury companions or with sweets ones. It is great as a pumpkin spiced latte alone and a savoury dip with charcoal softs buns served on side. 

They're everywhere in the supermarkets, of all shapes and sizes, haha and of course the prices varies greatly too. Every time I walk past the Japanese corner to check out those cute little pumpkins, damn they are out of my shopping budget. Even now the fine pumpkin is in season, those Japanese pumpkins refuse to push their prices lower😖. Since I've planned to make a savoury pumpkin dip for two servings, the size mattered. In the end, I gave up the thought of buying the Japanese pumpkin despite the quality in taste, and chose a big pumpkin from Malaysia at an affordable price. 

As tough as it looks, the pumpkin is a tricky hard vegetable to deal with. Firstly, be careful when slicing the skin away, go slow and be careful of fingers supporting the pumpkin. Use a cleaver or a big knife to ease the slicing process. Next, take a spoon and hold it close between the neck and bowl for stability when carving out pumpkin seeds and pulp. 

HOW TO COOK PUMPKIN REAL QUICK?

  • Cut them in small chunks and put them either in the microwave oven or vegetable steamer basket. Cook them in high power/heat. It takes 7-10 minutes for these pumpkin chunks to soften. This method is only suitable for making pumpkin soups, pastes, dips or salads. 

The ginger & sesame combination is famous and common in Asian cooking. Their strong scents are immediately recognisable and they usually go really well with any meat or seafood. This time, I'm bringing pumpkin to an experiment with this combination. No doubt, pumpkin never fails to impress me. It adds sweetness naturally without adding artificial sweeteners to the dip.

Finely chopped ginger and a left-right left-right twist to the pepper shake on prawns release a mild spiciness to the dish. This bright orange pumpkin dish is suitable for an appetizer in a party, or as a main dish that will fill you up. 

Dig in in this sweater weather. Make it once with less water is a dip, make it second time with more water is a soup. 

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 800g pumpkin 
  • 1 scallion thai spring onion (diced)
  • ½ old ginger root (diced)
  • 8 grey prawns
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • ¼ teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • 2 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • Black pepper

Directions

  • Remove pumpkin skin, seeds and pulp with a spoon. Chop pumpkin into small chunks and set aside in a microwave safe bowl. Put in the microwave and let them cook over high power level for 7 minutes or until soft.
  • Meanwhile, season prawns with pink himalayan salt. Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil and ½ portion ginger in a skillet over high heat. Stir fry ginger until slightly golden brown then add the prawns in. 
  • Pan fry the prawns for 1 minute on each side or until it turns red. Flip over and cook for another minute until both sides turn bright red. Sprinkle black pepper to taste and give it a quick fry. Scoop them up and set aside. 
  • Add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and remaining portion ginger and ½ portion spring onions in the same skillet over high heat. Fry them until slightly golden brown then add pumpkin chunks. 
  • Mash pumpkin using the back of a wooden spoon or ladle. Combine pumpkin with the mixture well. 
  • Add ½ cup of warm water to the mixture and turn down to low heat. Add white miso paste and continue to mix them in a clockwise direction for 5 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and pour mixture into a juice blender. Add another ½ cup of warm water to the mixture and blend it for 1 minute to smoothen the dip. 
  • Pour pumpkin dip into bowls and add the prawns as toppings. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of greek yogurt on each bowl and sprinkle remaining portion of spring onions. 
  • Serve it with soft buns or baguette. 

Have a restful day! EnjoyXx

-Ally