Thai-inspired pumpkin & lemongrass stir-fry

Serves 3-4  |  10 mins prep  |  10 mins cook

If you're a lover of spicy food, then you're in for a treat with this Thai-inspired lemongrass & pumpkin stir-fry. The sauce made from a combination of tamarind, fish sauce, & Thai-chilli soybean paste pairs well with most vegetables and proteins, thus feel free to change it up based on whatever you have on hand. 


350g butternut pumpkin, 1.5 cm cubes
1-2 tbs rice bran oil, or any neutral oil
1 lemongrass stalk, thinly sliced into rounds
2-4 Thai chillies, bruised with the back of a knife
50g roasted peanuts or cashew nuts
1/4 sugar loaf cabbage, shredded - substitute for 1/8th white cabbage
1/4 eshallot, sliced thinly
1 radish, thinly sliced into rounds
1/4 bunch Thai basil, leaves only
1/4 bunch coriander, roughly chopped 
1 tbs crispy shallots
2 tbs tamarind paste
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs chilli paste with soya bean oil (we used Pantai)
2 tsp caster sugar 
1/2 lime, juice only
1/2 tsp white pepper
3 tbs water


1. Place cubed pumpkin into a microwave safe container. Microwave on high heat for 2 minutes or until par-cooked.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
3. Heat a large wok over high heat. Once the pan is visibly smoking, coat the wok in half the rice bran oil.
4. Add the pumpkin and stir-fry until nicely caramelised and slightly charred. Remove the pumpkin from the wok. ( Tip: if you're pumpkin is sticking to the wok, it's either not hot enough or it's improperly seasoned) 
5. Add 1 tsp of oil to the wok, along with the cubed tofu and stir-fry until golden brown. Remove the tofu from the wok and set aside with the pumpkin. 
6. Reduce the heat to low. Coat the wok with the remaining oil. Working quickly add the lemongrass and chilli, stir-fry until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds.
7. Increase the heat of the wok to medium-high. Pour the sauce mixture into the wok, stirring to combine the lemongrass and chillies. The sauce mixture should immediately begin to boil. From this point, wait 30 seconds before returning the pumpkin & tofu to the wok, followed by the peanuts or cashews if using. Stir to coat the ingredients in the sauce. Taste and adjust to your desired preference. Remember - think salty, sweet, sour, spicy!  
8. Place the stir-fried pumpkin mixture into a serving bowl. 
9. Toss the shredded cabbage, eshallot, sliced radishes, coriander and Thai basil together in a bowl. 
10. Top the pumpkin stir-fry with the salad ingredients. Garnish with crispy shallots and serve with a side of steamed rice. 


- Pantai Chili paste with soya bean oil is available from select supermarkets/Asian grocers. You can find it online here. 

- Vegans substitute the fish sauce with vegan fysh sauce and the chili bean paste with Haday yellow soy bean paste, available from Woolworths. 

- If you're not a fan of spice, swap out the Thai chillies for long red chillies.