Chicken, pumpkin, nyonya
A Nyonya in UK, Dinner, Lunch

#Chicken and #Pumpkin Quick Stew

nyonya, recipe, easy, Chinese, Straits born

It is seasonal cooking again!!

Actually this easy stew was originally cooked with Taro – a type of Oriental yam. I used pumpkin instead as yam is hard to come across in where I live. Instead of pumpkin, I used the one that is easily available all year round – the butternut squash. Butternut squash and all types of squash and pumpkin are in abundance now in autumn.

It is an easy dish to prepare and it is a full-fledged stew only without the long cooking/simmering time. If you are not Asian, perhaps you have not come across dried prawns before. As the name implies, it is dehydrated prawns – all dried up. You can find it in Oriental Supermarkets. It is also used in Thai, Indonesian, Philippines and Chinese cooking. If you do not have dried prawns, you can try using 2 to 3 anchovies in oil and give it a good fry in hot oil and treat it the same as dried prawns. The dried prawns give this dish its fishy smell, and it goes well with the 5-spice powder.

Here is the recipe:


Chicken with Pumpkin Quick Stew

Quick Info:

Serves:         6-8 with accompaniments
Difficulty:    moderate
Cost:            £
Time:          10 mins to prep, 30 min to marinade,

20 min to cook

Pro points:

Per recipe:  40 pro points using calorie control spray, including 2 Tbsp oil to fry the dried prawns



500 g Chicken thigh – cut into 2 cm cubes
1 Tbsp            Dried prawns
2 Cloves        Garlic – chopped
1                      Shallot – thinly sliced
3 cm               Fresh ginger – thinly sliced
½                   Small pumpkin/butternut squash ( around 300-400 g skinned, cut to cm cubes
1                     Small carrot – cut into fancy shape


2 Tbsp            Light soy sauce
2 Tbsp            Dark soy sauce
3 Tbsp            Oyster sauce
½  Tsp           White pepper powder
2 Tsp              5-spice powder


1                      Spring onion – chopped for garnishing

2 Tsp             Corn flour mixed with 1 Tbsp water for thickening
400-500 ml  Hot water or stock

Salt and white pepper powder to taste.


  1. Marinade the chicken with the seasoning for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Spray a non-stick cooking pan or wok with calorie controlled spray ( or 1 Tbsp of oil if you are not restricting your calorie intake).
  3. When the pan is hot, put the chicken cubes into the pan, keeping the seasoning aside for later use. Pan fry the chicken cubes until  it is seared on both sides. Remove and set aside. Wipe the pan or give it a rinse.
  4. Heat 1 Tsp of cooking oil, or use calorie controlled spray. Fry the ginger slices, and the shallot until it colours and add the chopped garlic. Fry until it is fragrant and lightly browned.
  5. Add in pumpkin, the rest of the marinade and about 400 ml of water or until the water covers the ingredients. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add in the chicken and carrot.  Bring to the boil again and simmer until pumpkin is tender, about 10 minutes. Check that the pumpkin is tender by inserting a fork or skewer. It should yield. If it is still tough, simmer for another 2 -4 minutes.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
  8. Plate up ( or dish up)
  9. In the meantime, fry 2 Tbsp of oil till hot and fry the dried prawns until crispy and fragrant.
  10. Dish out and pour over the chicken.
  11. Garnish with the spring onion.
  12. Serve.



  1. The chicken can be cooked in a clay pot for better fragrance.
  2. The amount of water used is up to your preference. If you prefer a soupier sauce, then add more water. Then you need to adjust the seasoning.
  3. The oil for frying the dried prawns is necessary to give the fishy taste and flavour. If you prefer to use less oil, use only 1 Tbsp like I did.
  4. If you do not have dried prawns, do use 3-4 anchovies ( I mean the ones for Italian cooking, not ‘ikan bilis’) and fry it in oil till it is fragrant,  then pour over the chicken before serving.

Check out the photos and more description on the ingredients  and method below.

The vegetable ingredients: Pumpkin, ginger, garlic and chopped spring onion ( from my garden). I have a bit of left-over coriander so I am using it all up as a garnish.
The vegetable ingredients: Pumpkin, ginger, garlic and chopped spring onion ( from my garden). I have a bit of left-over coriander so I am using it all up as a garnish. Of course, the dried prawns in the glass container.


chicken, pumpkin
Sliced shallot and the carrot cut into fancy shape.


chicken, pumpkin
Chicken cubes marinating in the seasoning. It looks delicious right now.


chicken, pumpkin,nyonya
Chicken browning in the pan. Try not to put too much in the pan. If you buy cheaper chicken meat, it does contain a lot of water.


Chicken, pumpkin, nyonya
All dish up and ready to serve. It goes well with rice or mash. I normally serve this with rice and another vegetable for a balanced meal.


I hope  you like the fishy flavour and taste. It’s Yummy!!! You can make it for dinner tonight!!

Please like and share or put a thumbs up so that I can post more recipes.

Until the next recipe… See you soon.


Penang Lassie




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