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Pumpkin Beef (南瓜牛肉)

Pumpkin Beef (南瓜牛肉)

南瓜牛肉, or Pumpkin Beef, is a delightful dish that combines the savory richness of beef with the sweet, earthy flavors of pumpkin. This dish, often prepared in Chinese households, is not just delicious but also quite nutritious. The tenderness of the beef paired with the softness of the pumpkin makes for a comforting and satisfying meal. Here's a simple recipe to create this dish at home.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese


  • 500 g beef such as chuck or brisket, cut into cubes
  • 300 g pumpkin peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups beef broth or water
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped green onions or cilantro for garnish optional


Prepare the Beef:

  • If desired, marinate the beef cubes for about 30 minutes in a mixture of soy sauce and black pepper.

Brown the Beef:

  • In a large pot or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the beef cubes and brown them on all sides. Remove and set aside.

Sauté Aromatics:

  • In the same pot, add another tablespoon of oil.
  • Sauté garlic and onion until fragrant and slightly golden.

Cook the Beef:

  • Return the beef to the pot. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar. Stir well to combine.

Add Liquid:

  • Pour in the beef broth or water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 1 hour, or until the beef is tender.

Add Pumpkin:

  • Add the pumpkin chunks to the pot. Stir gently to mix with the beef.
  • Continue to simmer until the pumpkin is tender but still holds its shape, about 15-20 minutes.


  • Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and additional pepper if needed.

Garnish and Serve:

  • Garnish with chopped green onions or cilantro if using.
  • Serve the Pumpkin Beef hot, ideally with steamed rice or noodles.

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