Coconut and Coriander Prawns with Pumpkin (GF, DF)

The more that I cook, the more I desire simplicity. Fresh bright flavours delivered without fuss and with speed. Food that is healthy and bright. 

There was a time when I would devote much of my evening to delivering the meal that I would eat, often too late. Increasingly my cooking becomes simpler, fitted into tighter timeframes. I desire food that is fast and that delivers on flavour and that will sustain me too. Food that is healthy and balanced and that changes day to day. This way I always enjoy it, and my nutritional intake is varied too.

I generally cook for one but I usually cook enough for two meals each time. Borrowing time from the night before for the next day. Leftovers are terrific and the second iteration will usually have a twist so that it is different. This didn’t. I loved it so much the first time I kept it the same. 

Coconut and Coriander Prawns with Pumpkin – a speedy delicious and nutritious meal

Frozen raw prawns are a super handy thing to have in your freezer. They defrost quickly, cook in minutes and are very nutritious. I always have coconut milk in my cupboard too. Garlic, ginger and chilli are staples and I always aim to have small bunches of fresh herbs sitting in glasses of water on my tiny kitchen windowsill. Herbs and spices give so much flavour with no work. Everything is lifted further with a little acid. I reach for fresh citrus or vinegar and I usually have plenty of both on hand. 

Alternatives – Substitute Chicken or Pork for Prawns 

This will work well with chicken or pork too. If you choose leaner cuts (pork fillet or chicken breast) add them towards the end as you would the prawns when everything else is ready. I would add finely sliced strips of pork belly earlier (and do, just do), also chicken thighs. 

Coconut and Coriander Prawns with Pumpkin (GF, DF)
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Coconut and Coriander Prawns with Pumpkin (GF, DF)


  • 1 large banana shallot or 1 small onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 300g peeled diced pumpkin
  • 1 tsp Korean red pepper or another mild chilli to taste
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 225g raw prawns (defrosted if frozen)
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • a handful of fresh coriander leaves roughly chopped
  • Light oil for frying
  • sea salt
  • to serve: rice, toast or the carb of you choice. I served this with cooked millet.


  • Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallot or onion and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute.
  • Add the pumpkin, chilli and coconut milk and stir through. Raise the heat and when the coconut milk is just below the boil (starting to bubble but not fully boiling), reduce the heat to low. Cook gently until the pumpkin is cooked through (you can easily pass a knife through it). Add a little water if the sauce is becoming too thick. Cooking time will depend on the size of your pumpkin but if you cut it to 1 cm dice it should take 5 minutes.
  • Add the lime juice and fish sauce and stir through. Add the prawns and cook until pink (this will take only a couple of minutes and take them off the heat straight away as they will overcook and become rubbery).
  • Season with sea salt to taste, stir through the coriander and serve immediately.



    Written by Niamh
    Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.