Squash & Tofu Curry for Cold Winter Nights

Squash & Tofu Curry for Cold Winter Nights

by Yoo-jin Oh
Groove Korea (groovekorea.com)

With temperatures hitting -15 this winter, I find myself seeking warm, comforting food to come home to.

To me, nothing says properly warm and cozy like curry. This one is by all means not your traditional curry but instead is a quick one-pot version constructed with lots of comforting ingredients. Foremost is the kabocha squash (or known as 단호박), readily available in the supermarket throughout winter. You will find that the sweetness of the soft squash goes beautifully with the light tofu. The coconut milk also adds a pillowy softness to make this curry extra-pleasing. As a bonus, the only real effort that goes into making this dish is peeling the squash. Of all the various methods, the easiest one is to take a medium sized knife and chop the pumpkin into several wedges. Then, you can really just go at it by hacking off the hefty peels. I know it sounds terrible, but it can be a great stress reliever and the resulting meal is definitely worth your effort. Modify the recipe according to your taste and serve your customized home-made curry with rice or grains of your choice and stay warm.

Serving: 3 – 4


1/2 of a large kabocha squash or 1 whole small squash

1 yellow or white onion (chopped)

1 pack of hard tofu (cut into squares)

2 tbsp of coconut oil or vegetable oil

1 tbsp of grated ginger (~3 cm block)

3 cloves of minced garlic

3 tbsp of red curry paste *see notes for alternatives

2 tbsp of fish sauce

1 tbsp of soy sauce

½ tsp of salt

200 ml of water  

1 can (400 ml) of coconut milk

Optional (to be added with the garlic, ginger and paste)

l   2-3  diced small hot chili pepper (for a little extra kick)

l   1 tsp of whole cumin seeds

l   1 tsp of turmeric powder

l   1 tsp of Garam Masala for an extra punch


1. Cut the kabocha squash into wedges, lay them flat on onto the cutting board and cut the peel off with a knife. Then cut the wedges into 4cm chunks (but don’t worry too much about the size).

2. Heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a medium sized pot. Add the chopped onions with a pinch of salt and cook for 6-8 minutes until the onions have softened.

3. Add garlic, ginger and red-curry paste as well as any additional options mentioned above. Mix well and cook for 60 – 90 seconds until fragrant.

4. Add in the rest of the ingredients (tofu, kabocha, water, coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce and salt) and simmer for 40 – 45 minutes until the kabocha squash is completely soft and the curry has thickened.

5. Cook your grain of choice (brown rice, white rice, couscous etc.) whilst you wait for the curry to be ready.

6.Season the curry with extra fish sauce or salt if needed and serve the curry with squeeze of lime juice, and if available, sprinkle some fresh cilantro on top for the finishing touch. Also, it never hurts to put a fried egg on top.


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