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Pumpkin-Peanut Curry Noodles with Five-Spice Seared Scallops and Shrimp


  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • Salt

  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 inches ginger root, minced or grated

  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

  • 1/4-1/3 cup Tamari (dark soy sauce)

  • 1 can cooked pumpkin (15 ounces)

  • 2 rounded tablespoons mild or hot curry paste, such as Patak's brand, found on the international foods aisle at the grocery store

  • 3 tablespoons five-spice powder

  • 12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 12 diver scallops, trimmed and patted dry

  • 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces, then thinly sliced lengthwise into matchsticks


Heat a large pot of water for noodles. When water boils, salt it and add pasta and cook to al dente, with a bite to it. While pasta cooks, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat with two tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil. Add garlic, ginger, red bell pepper and pepper flakes to the pan and cook together a couple of minutes, then add peanut butter and melt it. Whisk Tamari (eyeball it) into peanut butter, then stir in pumpkin and curry paste. The sauce will be very thick. Turn down the heat to low. Add a ladle or two of pasta cooking water to thin sauce a bit and simmer over low heat. Adjust salt, to taste. Heat a small to medium skillet over high heat. Pour the five-spice powder onto a plate with some salt. Press both sides of the shrimp and scallops into the powder. Add three tablespoons of remaining oil to hot skillet. Place the shrimp in the pan and cook one minute, flip and sear the other side until just opaque. Remove shrimp to a plate and set aside. Add another three tablespoons of oil to the skillet and heat back up to smoking. Add the scallops and sear on both sides until opaque. Remove scallops and add to the plate of shrimp. Drain pasta and return pasta to the pot. Add the curry-pumpkin sauce and toss thoroughly. Serve noodles on four plates and top with scallions and seafood.