A couple of years ago, I was browsing Whole Foods while trying to decide what to make for dinner. I knew I had some frozen salmon at home, but I needed something to go with it — something filling, satisfying and flavorful. A package of soba noodles and a jar of prepared curry sauce later and I had one of my new go-to meals: salmon with curry noodles.
Fast forward to today: My apartment complex is doing a fall recipe contest, and I was wondering if I had something that I could submit. I knew there would be a lot of pumpkin breads and chili, so I wanted to do something unique. My boyfriend suggested my salmon curry noodles, but I wasn’t sure if it was “autumn” enough.
… but maybe it could be.
Squash and curry is a classic combination, so why not pumpkin? Combined with a warm, earthy curry blend like garam masala, it might just evoke the same comforting flavors as a pumpkin spice treat.
The curry sauce in this recipe borrows elements from some of my favorite curry dishes: rich coconut milk, warm flavorful spices that aren’t too hot, and a satisfying depth of flavor. The pumpkin adds a wonderful creamy texture to the sauce without having to rely on actual cream — or full-fat coconut milk. Light coconut milk works just fine! Toasting some of the spices in the oil while cooking the onion helps build that depth of flavor. The dash of fish sauce works similar to salt, except it draws out the more savory notes of the sauce. Don’t worry, your sauce won’t taste like fish! (If you need proof, just ask my boyfriend. I didn’t tell him I added fish sauce, and he didn’t make any comments about fishy sauce. Shh don’t tell him~)
A garnish of pumpkin seeds helps add texture along with little pops of salty, curry goodness. Use more cayenne if you want some bite in those pops.