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Pork and Pumpkin Red Curry Recipe

Pork & Pumpkin
Red Curry


A fiery pork and pumpkin curry with a cooling pawpaw side. A great dish full of flavour and balance.

  • Serves: 6 |
    6 servings
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 50 mins |
  • Cook Time : 30 mins
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1 Tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil

1–2 Tbsp (15–30 ml) red curry paste (shop-bought paste is good)

500 g pork fillet or pork loin chops (fat and bones removed), cut into strips

1 x 400 ml can coconut milk

300 g pumpkin, cut into cubes

6 dried kaffir lime leaves (see tip) or 6 large pieces of lemon zest

1 Tbsp (15 ml) fish sauce

1 tsp (5 ml) palm sugar (see tip) or soft brown sugar

1 Tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice

For serving

1–2 fresh red chillies, sliced

small handful of fresh basil

small handful of fresh mint

Green Pawpaw Salad

1 small green pawpaw

handful of green beans, cut into 3 cm lengths

handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

large handful roasted, unsalted peanuts, for serving


2 cloves garlic

2–4 small bird’s eye chillies (or a milder variety if preferred)

2 tsp (10 ml) palm sugar or soft brown sugar

2 Tbsp (30 ml) fish sauce

2 Tbsp (30 ml) lime juice

Heat the oil to moderate heat in a deep frying pan or wok. Add the curry paste, to taste, and fry until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the paste. Add the pork strips and fry until brown. Add the coconut milk, pumpkin and lime leaves. Allow to simmer, uncovered, for 15–20 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft – but not mushy. Add the fish sauce, sugar and lemon juice, and simmer for 5 minutes. Top with sliced red chillies and torn basil and mint leaves. Serve with steamed rice and Green Pawpaw Salad. Tip: Kaffir lime leaves and palm sugar is available from Asian supermarkets.

Green Pawpaw Salad

Peel the pawpaw and remove the seeds. Grate the pawpaw – you need 2 C (500 ml) – and keep to one side.
Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and blanch the green beans for 1 minute. Plunge into iced water immediately to refresh.


Use a mortar and pestle to crush the garlic and chillies. Add the sugar to the mortar and keep pounding. Add the fish sauce and lime juice and mix until the sugar has dissolved. The dressing should be equally salty, spicy, tart and sweet, so adjust any of the ingredients if necessary. In a large bowl, mix the grated pawpaw, green beans and tomatoes. Add the dressing and mix with the salad to combine. Serve with a generous sprinkling of peanuts.


If you can’t find a green pawpaw, substitute with a hard, unripe pawpaw or with peeled and grated green apple, grated carrot or grated cucumber. Or make a mixture.