Strangely enough, most people will only associate pumpkin with Halloween. Every year around this time, there will be a sudden invasion of these giant luminous orange gourd-like creatures - yes, those scary pumpkin faces!
But pumpkin is so much more than just a seasonal decoration to celebrate the witching hour. Hidden underneath the thick orange shell lies some sweet, delicate flesh that is excellent when roasted as it concentrated the sugar content within and caramelised. It is also rather delicious, as I've discovered, when simply stir-fried.
Along with the golden yellow strands of pumpkin, I have used some seasonal runner beans which not only added a crunchy element to the texture, but also a beautiful contrasting colours to the finished dish.
So if you are thinking of carving yourself a scary pumpkin face this Halloween, make sure you keep the flesh for this.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 small pumpkin, roughly 450g, peeled, seeded and cut into thin strips
200g runner beans, sliced diagonally into strips
2 spring onions, cut into 2cm lengths
2 tbsp peanut or sunflower oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the beans and stir-fry for 2 minutes before adding the pumpkins and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Add the spring onions, fish sauce and sugar and toss well to heat through. Season to taste, add more fish sauce if necessary.
Transfer to a serving dish and serves immediately.