Weekday Vegetarian: Vietnamese Glazed Pumpkin
Photo: Kelly Rossiter
Canadian Thanksgiving has just passed and my husband and I were ready for something a little lighter than the fare we've been eating with family and friends throughout the long weekend. Of course, at Thanksgiving when we see pumpkins, we think about pumpkin pies with the traditional seasoning of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Here is something totally different, with chunks of pumpkin with lots of garlic and a salty/sweet glaze.I love the little pie pumpkins that you can find in all of the markets right now. They aren't as dense as squash and they cook a bit faster, as well. However, if you can't find a pie pumpkin, you could substitute acorn squash and it would still work. This recipe calls for fish sauce, but I have suggested that miso might be a good substitute here for a vegetarian and vegan meal. We had some glazed pumpkin left over and today I turned it into soup. I sauteed an onion and half a bird's eye chili pepper, added the pumpkin, then added about a cup of vegetable stock and let it cook for a bit, then added about 2/3 a cup of coconut milk, topped it with some Thai basil and it was delicious.
Vietnamese glazed pumpkin
1 (3-pound) pie pumpkin
1 tablespoon peanut oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Vietnamese fish sauce or miso
2 tablespoons sugar
Freshly ground black
Steamed rice (optional)
1. Peel and seed the pumpkin. Cut the flesh into 1-inch cubes.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic and fry for a few seconds without browning. Add the pumpkin and fry 1 minute, shaking to coat the cubes with oil. Add the stock, fish sauce or miso and sugar and mix well. Bring to a rapid boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender but not mushy and the sauce is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. If there is still too much liquid in the pan, raise the heat and boil uncovered to reduce it to a glaze.
3. Sprinkle the pumpkin with black pepper to taste and serve at once, over rice if you like.