Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hokkien Pumpkin Rice (福建金瓜饭)

I cooked this Hokkien Pumpkin Rice on the same day that I made the Pumpkin Kaya Jam, but I only have the time to upload the fotos today. This is what I believe to be a very traditional hokkien household recipe just like cabbage rice. You will never see it served in any restaurants in Singapore or elsewhere, it is only served at home. Hokkien cuisine hails from the chinese province of Hokkien or Fujian in China. Some of the famous traditional dishes include for example, hokkien prawn mee, bak kut teh, kiam chye ark, popiah, ngoh hiang, pumpkin rice, cabbage rice and yam rice. Of all these dishes, I only know how to cook pumpkin rice, cabbage rice and to a certain extent, improvised bak kut teh. But that is good enough for me to relive the tastes of homecooked hokkien food.

The steps are really simple, and almost identical to my cabbage rice recipe.

INGREDIENTS (for 3-4 persons)
2 - 2.5 cups of uncooked rice, rinsed and drained
300 - 400g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, chopped into 1-inch cubes
200g belly pork/streaky pork, thinly sliced
a handful of dried shrimps (soaked in water until soft, retain the water)
5 dried chinese mushrooms (thinly sliced, soaked until soft, retain the water)
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 

1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
a pinch of salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat up a wok and stir-fry the belly pork til slightly browned. Set the belly pork aside, and retain the pork fat in the work.

2. Add the chopped garlic and stir-fry until fragrant. 

3. Add the dried shrimps and chinese mushrooms (drained from the water) and stir-fry for 1 min until fragrant. 

4. Add the chopped pumpkin and pre-fried belly pork. Mix well. Let the pumpkin simmer for 3 min or so until soft. Season with light soya sauce, dark soya sauce and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

5. Finally add in the rice, stir well and make sure the rice is well-mixed with the other ingredients and well coated with the seasoning. Stir fry for 1 min or so.

6. Transfer everything into the rice cooker. Add 1 cup of water (water used for soaking the mushrooms or dried shrimps) for every 2 cups of rice. Press the COOK button on the rice cooker and wait for the rice to be cooked. Halfway through the cooking, open the rice cooker, and stir the rice and pumpkin for a while, to make sure the top and bottom parts are evenly cooked.

Note : Usually when cooking plain rice, I will add water until the rice is fully immersed and the water level is slightly above the rice. But for cooking pumpkin rice, you need not add too much water, otherwise the pumpkin will become mushy and the rice will become soggy. Based on my past experience, the ideal ratio should be 1 cup of water for every 2 cups of rice. It doesn't matter that the water level doesn't cover the rice completely because more moisture from the pumpkin will be released during cooking in the rice cooker. 


  1. Hi, thank you for the great recipe. However, I must point out to you that BaKutTeh is actually not a traditional Hokkien dish. I was invented by a TeowCheow in Klang (Selangor, Malaysia) in the 80s. It was then popularised by the local Hokkien by adding the dark soy source in the dish.


  3. Hi, thanks for the receipe! I cooked this at home but always cannot get the water measurement right! For 2 - 2.5 cups of rice to 1 cup of water - means using the same rice measuring cup for water? Thanks! Anna

    1. Hi Anna,
      Yes, using the same rice cup. First strain the pumpkin and rice of excess water. Then pour 1 cup of water for every 2 cups of pumpkin rice mixture. The water need not cover the rice in this case. Then during cooking, open and mix the rice evenly from bottom to top, to make sure the top is cooked properly. The water from pumpkin will eventually come out too. If you add too much water, the pumpkin rice will become mushy :).

  4. If without pumpkin is it the same amount of water to cook the rice or need more than that

  5. hello :3 I'm new here and wanted to ask if we have to put the rice again back to the rice cooker, does that mean when we cook our first rice, it needed to be half cooked? so the second time we cook the rice, it'll become the rice we usually eat at home?

    Thanks :3

    1. Hi Hasegawa Iku
      I am not sure if I understand your question correctly. Let me try to explain. The rice is UNCOOKED thai rice, but rinsed and drained of water. You fry it with all the ingredients stated above, put it in rice cooker and pour in the required amount of water. Press the Cook button. Half way through, when the rice is half-cooked (water has evaporated), open the rice cooker, mix and stir from top and bottom, so that the pumpkin and rice get cooked evenly.
      Hope this answers your question :)

    2. ohh! I see, Thanks! now I understand. I'm still learning how to cook properly. I'm looking foward to cook everything here. awesome easy cook recipes XD! goodluck


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