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+ servings

Camarão na Moranga (Brazilian Shrimp Stuffed Pumpkin)

Camarão na Moranga – or Brazilian Shrimp Stuffed Pumpkin – is a traditional Brazilian dish from the coast of São Paulo. Creamy and shrimp-y, this stunning dish is begging to be a beautiful centerpiece at your next gathering!
4.5 from 2 votes

Ingredients  

  • One large, 8-9 pounds Cinderella or Kabocha pumpkin, thoroughly washed and dried
  • 1 1/2 large onions, minced, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds raw medium or large shrimp, heads and tails removed, peeled and deveined
  • Juice of one lime
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound 2 blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Using a sharp paring knife, carefully cut around the outline of the pumpkin stem. You will want to do a hole big enough so you can reach inside. Remove the stringy part and seeds, and discard.
  • In the food processor (or a mortar and pestle), combine 1/2 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Process until it gets to a paste-like consistency. Spread that mixture all over the insides of the pumpkin.
  • Rub the pumpkin outside with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Close with the top part and roast for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the pumpkin is starting to get soft. Remove from oven and reserve, discarding the top or reserving for decoration.
  • While the pumpkin is roasting, prepare the shrimp stew. Start by seasoning the shrimp generously with lime juice, salt and pepper.
  • In a large Dutch Oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the shrimp and sauté until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side. Be careful not to overcook it! Remove (along with any release juices) and reserve.
  • Reduce heat to medium and wipe the pot if needed. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and, once hot, sauté the remaining chopped onion and garlic, until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the flour and mix until incorporated.
  • Add the milk and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Once thickened to the desired consistency, stir in the heavy cream and 1/3 cup chopped parsley. Return the shrimp (and juices) to the pot, stirring to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Remove from heat and reserve.
  • Wipe the inside of the pumpkin with a paper towel, to get rid of any excess liquid.
  • Spread the cream cheese inside the pumpkin, all over the bottom and sides.
  • Fill the pumpkin with the shrimp stew, top with the parmesan cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and the top is bubbly and golden.
  • Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve, with white rice.


Notes

Shrimp

If you do not live by the sea and don't have access to a good fish market, buy frozen shrimp as that will be the freshest shrimp you can get. White or pink shrimp will work in this recipe!
You can also get a few large prawns (head-on, skin-on) and cook just to decorate the pumpkin at the end.

Pumpkin

This recipe should be made with a Cinderalla pumpkin or a Kabocha pumpkin. Those big orange pumpkins that you see at the supermarket are not as flavorful and should only be used for carving Halloween decorations!
You can also do this dish in several individual mini pumpkins instead of a large one.

Tomatoes

If you don't have access to good tomatoes when it's not their season (fall), you can use a 14-ounce can of chopped tomatoes instead. Preferably San Marzano!

Make Ahead

I do not recommend making this recipe ahead, as shrimp can get rubbery when overcooked. You could, however, roast the pumpkin a day ahead. But make sure the pumpkin is completely heated when it goes in the oven with the stew, which means baking time will probably be longer.

Leftovers

To store leftovers, remove the stew into an airtight container. Then, scoop out as much of the pumpkin flesh as you can, storing it with the stew. Discard the pumpkin.
The leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 333kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 170mg, Sodium: 799mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g