Pumpkin Rice

Savoury rice is always impressive to me. Plain rice is fine but for some reason when you add stuff into it and cook it up, it becomes this magnificent thing. I find that I almost always serve up some sort of savoury rice every time we have guests. You know, just to impress even though I’m probably only impressing myself when it actually turns out edible. #truth

Back to the rice, I’ve made a couple different types of savoury rice but wanted to try something slightly different when we had friends over recently. I spied a nice sized wedge of kabocha squash aka pumpkin at the market and bingo!

I used Basmathi Rice, Kabocha/Pumpkin, Shitake Mushrooms, Dried Shrimp, Shallots, Garlic, Soy Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Sweet Soy Sauce (Kecap Manis), Pepper & Water.
Pumpkin Rice 1

I like to keep the squash chunks a bit on the large side because when they are cooked through, they can turn mushy. So larger chunks hold together better.
Pumpkin Rice 2

Stirfrying the aromatics.
Pumpkin Rice 3

This is probably not necessary but I just like to give the pumpkin cubes a little time with the aromatics and heat to caramelize just every so slightly. I can’t prove this but I feel like this deepens the sweetness a little and those cubes hold together better. Again, I may not know what I’m saying. 😉
Pumpkin Rice 4

Ah, but this part is mandatory. All savoury rice dishes mandates that the rice has to be stirred into some kind of fat to coat each grain. This makes sure the starches do not leak out too much during cooking as this keeps the grains separate. Makes for a waaaay more appetizing texture.
Pumpkin Rice 5

Finally in with seasonings and water.
Pumpkin Rice 6

Seeing as there is no meat (aside from the dried shrimp) in this, it took a mere 15-20 minutes to finish cooking!
Pumpkin Rice 7

The grains stayed nice and separate while I’d say the kabocha pieces kept together. Barely but still… at least not all mushed up in the rice. I’m all about being just okay 😛
Pumpkin Rice 8

It’s yet another one-pot-meals!
Pumpkin Rice 9

As much as I love fresh mushrooms (and I love them so very dearly), I think dried shitake works best in this, providing the much needed bite factor.
Pumpkin Rice 10

Impress everyone with this easy peasy rice dish!
Pumpkin Rice 11

 It is even better the next day.
Pumpkin Rice 12

Sweet & savoury = ultimate!

More savoury rice ideas:

Lime Chicken & Rice with Kale

Lime Chicken & Rice with Kale

Yam Rice

Yam Rice

Curry Minced Pork Fried Rice

Curry Minced Pork Fried Rice

Fragrant Stovetop Rice

Fragrant Stovetop Rice


“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” {Luke 16:10}

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Pumpkin Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Rice
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 8
  • 2½ cups Basmathi Rice
  • 3 cups Water
  • 3 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 3 Red Shallots, sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1½ tbsp Dried Shrimp
  • 4 Dried Shitake Mushrooms, soaked in water to reconstitute
  • 1 slice Kabocha Squash (Pumpkin) - appx 150-200gms
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • ½ tbsp Kecap Manis (Sweet Soy)
  • 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce (optional)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  1. Rinse rice very well until water runs clear when draining. Let rice drip dry on a fine mesh colander.
  2. Meanwhile, Rinse dried shrimp & drain, Set aside.
  3. Thinly slice reconstituted shitake. Set aside
  4. Peel & cut kabocha into roughly ¾ inch cubes.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, kecap manis & oyster sauce with a bit of water from total amount needed to thin out consistency.
  6. Heat up oil in a deep pot. You'll be cooking the rice in this pot.
  7. On MED heat, sauce shallots, garlic & dried shrimp until fragrant, about 1 min.
  8. Toss in cubed kabocha. Stir to mix until cubes are coated with oil. Leave to saute for a little while.
  9. Add shitake & rice. Stir well to ensure rice grains are coated with oil.
  10. Pour in sauce mixture & water.
  11. Bring to a boil then down to the lowest possible simmer with lid closed.
  12. Leave to simmer for 15 minutes. If all the water is absorbed with rice grains fully cooked & kabocha tender,turn off heat but leave the cover on. Rice will continue to steam.
  13. When ready to serve, loosen up rice with a wooden spoon!


  1. I love sweet and savory and sweet and sour flavors. This rice hits all categories. GREG

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