Pumpkin with groundnut sauce

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Jeremy Chan’s celebration of autumnal pumpkin and squash may look simple on the surface, but it is anything but. He pairs sweet pumpkin and honey butter with an earthy groundnut sauce – typical of West Africa – made with peanuts and spices and infused with a mushroom dashi. The finishing touch comes in the form of two pickled kumquats, which cut through the richness with a burst of acidity.

First published in 2019




Pickled kumquats

Mushroom dashi

Groundnut sauce


  • 1/2 large pumpkin, or enough for 8 slices. Use a very sweet, in-season pumpkin such as Crown Prince or Delica
  • 300g of butter
  • 150g of honey


  • High-power blender
  • Chinois
  • Large vacuum bags
  • Chamber sealer
  • Steam oven
  • Hand blender


Make the pickled kumquats at least 2 days before serving. Bring the liquids and honey to a boil in a pan, then remove from the heat and set aside. Toast the peppercorns and nutmeg in a hot, dry pan, then add to the pickle, along with the remaining ingredients (except the kumquats). Allow to chill
Cut each kumquat in half before scooping out and discarding the flesh. Place the skins in the pickling liquid and leave to pickle for at least 2 days
  • 5 kumquats
Start the mushroom dashi the day before serving. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and leave to infuse overnight. The next day, pour into a pan, bring to 70°C then remove from the heat. Infuse for 1 hour before straining
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas mark 6
For the groundnut sauce, spread the peanuts on a tray and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. After this time, toss them around the tray and check that they are fairly darkly roasted, but not black. Add the peanuts to the cream in a pan and bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover with cling film and set aside to infuse
Add the butter to a saucepan and melt over a low heat. Add the onions to the butter and caramelise very slowly, stirring frequently, until they are very soft, sweet and dark. Make sure they do not burn or dry out – it’s important that you keep stirring them and keep an eye on them. Add the garlic and chillies towards the end and cook until soft
Gently toast the black peppercorns and cloves in a hot, dry pan, then grind to a powder. Add to the onion mixture, along with the paprika
Wash the fresh mushrooms then dry well. Roughly chop and roast in a hot pan in small batches as quickly as possible, so that the outsides are coloured but the insides retain as much moisture as possible
Combine all of the elements (the peanuts and cream, caramelised onion mixture, 1.6kg of the mushroom dashi and fried mushrooms) then blend in batches in a high-powered blender with the peanut butter and a pinch of smoked salt. Blend each addition for a minimum of 3 minutes on full speed
The final consistency should be an aerated, nutty cream that is totally smooth. Pass the sauce through a chinois and set aside
Set a steam oven to 100°C on 100% steam
Peel the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds inside. Carve into nice rounded crescent-shaped slices
  • 1/2 large pumpkin, or enough for 8 slices. Use a very sweet, in-season pumpkin such as Crown Prince or Delica
Temper the butter in a saucepan, then whip with the honey using a hand blender until emulsified and smooth. Add the pumpkin slices to vacuum bags and pour in the honey and butter emulsion. Seal in a chamber sealer and place in the steam oven for 20 minutes
When the pumpkin slices are ready, open the bags and remove the slices, reserving the honey butter from the bags. Caramelise the pumpkin in a hot pan on one side, then turn and pour in the honey butter, basting with it continuously until the pumpkins are beautifully golden
Gently reheat the groundnut sauce before serving, seasoning with a little more smoked salt, if needed. Drain the kumquat skins from the pickle
Serve the pumpkin slices with a spoonful of the groundnut sauce, the pickled kumquats and a few drops of smoked rapeseed oil

A deeply thoughtful and analytical chef, Jeremy Chan takes the scientific principles of flavour and applies them to create undeniably delicious food at London's two-Michelin-starred Ikoyi.

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