Orange Page Pull-outs: Shishitougarashi-Pumpkin Itame


This is an adaption of a recipe that was part of a Cook-Do sauce advert in Orange Page magazine. Unfortunately for the advertisers, instead of the pre-prepared chinjaorousu Cook-Do sauce I made a 'spicy chinese sauce-base' recipe from the book '15 min Easy Okazu'.

Recipe magazines can be hit & miss, let alone the recipes in advertisements in magazines, but this is damn good. I'll be making this again for sure. If it had a song it would be The Race by Yello. Your mouth gets this all-over tingly spicy warmth. Every ingredient really shines, from the sweetish pumpkin, to the savoury onion, to the fresh shishitougarashi peppers. The original recipe has thin sliced pork in it but you don't need it at all (EDIT: I made the dish again last night and I now think the pork would take it next-level from being a plain pumpkin stir-fry). If you want to add the small pieces of thin sliced pork, add them at the same time as the onion (50 grams per person).

Shishitougarashi are a small sweetish green Japanese pepper - maybe a bit like the Spanish 'pimientos de padron' but a bit smaller. Similarly to pimientos de padron, they taste awesome char-grilled or broiled until floppy, and you don't need to peel: just eat whole. Apart from the little stalk bit.

Spicy Chinese Sauce-Base
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 tbsp Tobanjiang or other chilli bean sauce (I used 1 tbsp each Tobanjiang and a really hot Korean BBQ sauce)
1/4 cup sake
3 big cloves garlic finely chopped
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger or that pre-prepared 'oroshi' ginger paste that comes in pottles
1 tbsp oil

Sauté the garlic and ginger in the oil, taking care not to burn, until they start to give off a good aroma.

Add everything else and mix around for one or two more minutes on the heat.

Kabocha+Shishitou Stir fry
The following ingredients are for one person, so just multiply to feed more.

A small handful of kabocha or butternut squash segments (skin still on), roughly 8mm thin
A small handful of thin sliced pork bits
4-5 shishitougarashi (substitute with green bell pepper in bite size pieces or pimientos de padron)
1 onion sliced in strips/ribbons (basically in half and then thin, vertical slices).
sesame oil & olive oil
2 tbsp spicy chinese cooking sauce (above)

Heat a tablespoon of sesame oil and saute the pumpkin segments, making sure to flip over, until cooked through. Add the green peppers and give them a stir.
New learnings from having made the dish a couple of times: Take the pumpkin and peppers out of the pan.
Add a spoon of olive or other oil plus the onion and pork, and cook until the onion is soft. Put the pumpkin & peppers back in and add two tablespoons of the Spicy Chinese Sauce-base (be careful with this, if you add too much it will just taste overpoweringly like soy sauce), toss to coat and sauté for 30 seconds to a minute, check whether you need to add a bit more sauce or maybe some shichimi spice or chilli flakes, and then serve piping hot.

There aren't many things that can make brown rice taste this good.


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