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Asian Stir Fried Pumpkin Stems

by rota (follow)
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Few people are aware that you can eat the young stems, leaves, shoots and tendrils of pumpkin plants - in addition to the pumpkins themselves.

Pumpkin tendrils

This is one of those wonderful delights only gardeners tend to enjoy, as pumpkin stems are not easy to find - except in some Asian markets.

If you are harvesting your own pumpkin stems, be sure to only use the young shoots and those leaves that are no bigger than you hand - as these are still tender enough to eat.

Pumpkin tendrils

The stems do not require much cooking, so they are a quick and easy option. They also have a particularly mild flavour which makes them an instant favourite.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 2 servings


10 to 15 foot-long pumpkin stems with leaves, shoots and tendrils
4 cloves of garlic, minced or finely sliced
half a small onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 green chili, sliced (optional)
1 to 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of cornflour
1/4 cup of water or vegetable stock
Salt to taste


Thoroughly wash the pumpkin stems of dirt and grit.

Pumpkin tendrils

Peel off and discard the furry layer of skin from only the thicker parts of the stem by breaking a little of the end off and pulling backwards.

Frying leaves with onion and garlic

Roughly chop the stems, leaves and tendrils

Pumpkin leaves with the rice

Heat a shallow pan and fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil on low heat until translucent. Do not allow them to brown.

Frying leaves with onion and garlic

Turn the burner heat to medium, add the chopped pumpkin stems and sliced chilies and stir to distribute heat evenly.

Frying leaves with onion and garlic

Add the soy sauce. You can also add a little water or vegetable stock to the pan if it becomes dry. Continue to stir.

Pumpkin leaves with the rice

Mix the cornflour with two tablespoons of water or vegetable stock.

When the leaves are slightly wilted and have changed to a slightly darker shade of green, add the cornflour mixture and cook for a further minute.

Add salt to taste.

Pumpkin leaves with the rice

Serve with jasmine rice.

I like this Recipe - 4
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Fantastic - what an innovative article and recipe. Do nice to see something a little left of field
Cheers Annalisa
Thank you very much Annalisa! There are lots of things that we can eat that people never seem to take advantage of. And like pumpkin stems, they can be really delicious!
by rota
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