Friday, March 18, 2011

Recipe #103: Pumpkin-Peanut Curry Noodles with Five-Spice Seared Scallops and Shrimp

Longest recipe title yet.  This one is from Rachael Ray's Book of 10.  This hearty delicious Thai-style dish makes a little bit of a mess in the kitchen, but it's worth every dirty pot and pan.  Nick helped me make this, and it turned out great- maybe too many noodles.  You do NOT need a pound of noodles (unless you really want them...)  I used 10oz and still had too many, but you'll have to use less sauce so it's not soupy.  Adjust to your tastes and how many your feeding.

Also, be careful if you're using a zester or grater to mince your fresh ginger... I'm missing skin on three of my knuckles because the ginger slipped while I was grating it.  Not fun...

ANYWAYS, here goes:


  • 1 pound spaghetti (I recommend 10oz whole wheat spaghetti instead)
  • Salt
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 inches ginger root, minced or grated
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup tamari dark soy sauce, eyeball it
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cooked pumpkin
  • 2 rounded tablespoonfuls mild or hot curry paste, found on international foods aisle
  • 3 tablespoons five-spice powder
  • 12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 10 jumbo or 12-14 large scallops, trimmed and patted dry
  • 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces, then thinly sliced lengthwise into matchsticks


Heat a large pot of water for noodles. When water boils, salt it and add pasta to cook to al dente or with a bite to it.

While pasta cooks, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil. Add garlic, ginger, red bell pepper, and pepper flakes to the pan and cook together a couple of minutes, then add peanut butter and melt it. Whisk soy into peanut butter, then stir in pumpkin and curry paste. The sauce will be very thick. Turn down the heat to low. Add a ladle or 2 of pasta cooking water to thin sauce a bit and simmer over low heat. Adjust salt, to taste.

Heat a small to medium skillet over high heat. Pour the five-spice powder onto a plate with some salt. Press both sides of the shrimp and scallops into the powder. Add 3 tablespoons of remaining oil to hot skillet. Place the shrimp in the pan and cook 1 minute, flip and sear the other side until just opaque. Remove shrimp to a plate and set aside. Add another 3 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and heat back up to smoking. Add the scallops and sear on both sides until opaque. Remove scallops and add to the plate of shrimp.

Drain pasta and return pasta to the pot. Add the curry-pumpkin sauce and toss thoroughly. Serve noodles on 4 plated and top with scallions and seafood

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