Stuffed pumpkin dishes are a traditional offering in Korean cuisine. This version, filled with a spicy seafood mixture, is a blend of "old and new" elements thanks to the addition of mozzarella. The pumpkin's flower shape is a simple yet gorgeously kitsch way to serve the healthy snack.






Skill level

Average: 4 (37 votes)


  • 1 small whole Japanese pumpkin (about 2 kg)
  • 10 green prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 1 medium Southern calamari, cleaned, skinned, cut into thick strips lengthways
  • 6 scallops
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • ¼ red capsicum, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tsp finely sliced green onions
  • cooked rice and steamed greens to serve (optional)


  • 1 green onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp kochujang (Korean chilli paste) (see Note)
  • 2 tsp kochugaru (Korean chilli powder) (see Note)
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Korean rice syrup (see Note)
  • 1 tbsp cooking sake (see Note)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Wash pumpkin and wipe dry with a paper towel. Place pumpkin on a large plate and cook the pumpkin in the microwave for 5 minutes on high.

Remove the pumpkin from the microwave and carefully cut a lid opening around the stem with a thin, sharp knife. The lid should be 8 cm in diameter (if a circle) or a 5 cm-sided hexagon. Scoop out pumpkin seeds or extra flesh and drain off water. Discard the pumpkin lid or set aside for presentation.

Cook pumpkin again in the microwave for about 8-10 minutes on high, in 2-3 minute bursts with the open end up, or until the pumpkin is cooked and has softened but still retains shape. Remove water from cooked pumpkin that may have welled at the bottom with a paper towel. 

In a preheated frypan over medium-high heat, add the grape seed oil. Sauté onion and capsicum quickly for about 1 minute. Add the scallops, prawns, calamari and garlic to the pan and sauté quickly for about 1 minute. Add in the sauce ingredients and stir-fry seafood mixture and sauce over high heat for about 30 seconds. Take care not to overcook the seafood and season to taste if required (sauce may provide enough seasoning).

Fill the cooked pumpkin with the seafood mixture; scooping out more pumpkin flesh if needed to fit all of the seafood. Sprinkle with cheese. 

Bake seafood-filled pumpkin in oven for 10- 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Take out pumpkin and scatter with green onions. Place the pumpkin in a serving bowl or on a plate large enough to hold it. Cut the pumpkin (not seafood) into wedges or segments but not all the way to the bottom of the pumpkin. Fan out pumpkin segments so that it is flower shaped around the seafood. Serve with rice and steamed greens if desired.



• Kochujang, kochugaru, rice syrup and cooking sake are all available from Korean food stores.