red curry kabocha soup

5 from 1 reviews



1 medium (2-3 pound) kabocha squash (see Notes)

1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk (I like Aroy-D, per Ashlae’s guide, or Chaokoh)

3 tablespoons red curry paste (I used Mae Anong)

2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced into thin ribbons (about 2 tablespoons)

45 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup Thai basil leaves, loosely packed, plus more for garnish

1 tablespoon brown sugar (or more, to taste)

12 teaspoons fish sauce (or more, to taste)

½ teaspoon salt (optional, to taste)

¼ cup torn cilantro (optional), for garnish

¼ cup sliced green onions (optional), for garnish


  1. Cook the kabocha:  My favorite way to cook the kabocha is to halve it and rub it lightly with oil, then roast at 400 degrees in the oven until tender.  You can also pop it whole into a pressure cooker and it’s done in 15 minutes flat, but I find the flavor is better, and the texture smoother, when roasting.  When the kabocha is done, seed it, peel (if desired–the peel is edible!), and break into large pieces.
  2. Make the curry:  If your coconut milk has separated into thicker cream at the top, scoop about ⅓ cup of it into a pot and whisk together with the curry paste until well-blended.  (If it hasn’t separated, ⅓ cup of the regular milk is fine, too.) Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 1-2 minutes.  
  3. Reserving a few tablespoons of the remaining coconut milk for drizzling, add the rest of the can of coconut milk, the kaffir lime leaves, and 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock.  Last, stir in the Thai basil, just until wilted.
  4. Make the soup:  Transfer the cooked kabocha to a KitchenAid K400 Blender.  Pour in the coconut milk mixture and blend until smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Loosen with 3 or so cups more chicken stock, or as much as needed to reach your desired consistency, and blend again if needed.
  5. Taste and add fish sauce, brown sugar, and salt to your liking.  (I found I needed at least 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 teaspoons fish sauce, and just a pinch of salt, but the amount will depend on your tastes, the kabocha, and the brand of red curry paste.) 
  6. Pour the soup into bowls, drizzle with extra coconut milk, and garnish with extra basil and other herbs, if desired.  Serve with jasmine rice and enjoy!


If your kabocha is already cubed raw, add it to the pot along with the coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, and chicken stock in Step 3, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until fork tender.  Then proceed with blending in Step 4.

If you don’t have a blender, you can substitute the squash with one 30-ounce can of pumpkin puree.