Orange Is the New Snack: Hong Kong's Best Pumpkin Dishes
You can’t have Halloween without it, but we prefer taking a knife and fork to this scary squash rather than carving it into a Jack-o’-Lantern.
Loco for Coco
Looking for some last-minute pumpkin treats to fill out your Halloween table? Coco pâtisserie at The Mira is selling a range of spooky baked goods for All Hallows’ Eve, including a delectable pumpkin tart complete with cute little marzipan pumpkins. The pumpkin tart has all the sweet and slightly spicy flavors of a traditional American pumpkin pie, encased in a buttery vanilla crust.
Pumpkin Perk: Pumpkin seed oil is filled with phytoestrogens, which have been proven to help decrease blood pressure.
The Mira, 118 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2315-5566.
Soup for the Soul
Pumpkin is great tossed in salads or as a side dish to protein-heavy mains, but really there’s no better or simpler way to savor this versatile squash than with a sweet and comforting bowl of roasted pumpkin soup. Some things are better enjoyed at home curled up in front of the TV, which is why we’re glad The Langham Hong Kong’s Main St. Deli is serving up this fall treat as part of their Turkey Takeaway menu, available now through the festive season. And while you’re ordering your soup, go on and tick the “Pumpkin Cheesecake” box under pie offerings for a double-pumpkin whammy. Check and check.
Pumpkin Perk: Pumpkin packs plenty of Vitamin A, leading to healthier skin, teeth and bones.
The Langham Hong Kong, 8 Peking Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2132-7898.
Cavatelli in My Belly
There’s something ghoulish about the worm-like appearance of cavatelli pasta that might be off-putting at first—even on Halloween—but one bite of the pumpkin cavatelli with smoked ricotta at Mr & Mrs Fox and you’ll be scarfing it down, no questions asked. Besides adding an interesting texture, those pasta ridges are ideal for holding the sage butter sauce and creamy ricotta. And the little pops of pomegranate? Perfect for fall.
Pumpkin Perk: Find yourself squinting a lot lately? Pumpkin’s ample beta-carotene promotes improved vision, and slows the effects of certain degenerative eye diseases.
23 Tong Chong St., Quarry Bay, 2697-8500, mrmrsfox.com.
Not Your Average Side
In addition to dishing up consistently good Italian comfort food, Posto Pubblico is a place to get your pumpkin fix, with the sweet squash featuring in the antipasto platter and as a roasted pumpkin with chili oil side. The delicately caramelized pumpkin is fall on a plate, amped up by chili oil and brightened with fresh herbs.
Pumpkin Perk: Mashed pumpkin is just 49 calories per cup, compared to 237 calories in mashed potatoes. Frankly, it tastes better too.
G/F, 28 Elgin St., Central, 2577-7160, postopubblico.com.
Sown from a Seed
When you’re carving up your Jack-O-Lantern, think twice before tossing out the seeds. Those little nuggets are chock-full of iron and fiber, and chefs are using them as a nutrient boost in everything from healthy salads to soups to even desserts. One of our favorite ways to consume the crunchy toppers is in Greek joint Souvla’s Cypriot Grain Salad, piled high with almonds, pine nuts, cumin seeds, bulgur wheat, lentils, coriander and of course, plenty of pumpkin seeds. Packed full of goodness, the nutrient-dense salad is bound together with creamy Greek-style yogurt and a dollop of honey to bring out maximum flavor.
Pumpkin Perk: Pumpkin seeds pack about 1.7 grams of fiber per ounce, which keeps you feeling full for longer.
1/F, Ho Lee Commercial Building, 40 D’Aguilar St., Central, 2522-1823.
Pretty as a Pumpkin
Not only is pumpkin meat delicious roasted, mashed or stewed, the outer shell makes an eye-catching bowl for presentation purposes. At Korean BBQ joint Arisu, the whole pumpkin is used as a vessel for steaming marinated galbi short-ribs, helping lock in the flavor of the beef and soaking up excess meat drippings along the way.
Pumpkin Perk: Try using pumpkin pulp as an all-natural face mask for its soothing and exfoliating qualities. All you need is pureed pumpkin, egg, honey and milk... it’s kind of like a pumpkin pie for your face.
G/F, 56 Pan Hoi St., Quarry Bay, 2351-2626, arisuhk.com.