Pumpkin Shrimp Recipe

Recipe contributed by Luciana Mitzkun Weston,
Alexander Gardens Community Services Director

“Camarão na moranga” is a typical dish of the Brazilian south coast, delicious and impressive for special occasions. The recipe was created in 1945 in Ubatuba, a town along the northern coast of state of São Paulo. 
Pumpkin is a Central American vegetable very common in Brazil. It is versatile and is used to make a infinite number of sweet and savory recipes.


  • 5lbs flat pumpkin (sweet pumpkin)
  • For the prawns in cream sauce:
    • 2 lbs medium prawns
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 garlic clove chopped
    • 1 small onion chopped
    • 2 cups tomato sauce
    • salt and ground pepper or chilli pepper
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • 2 cups cheese cream
  • Garnish:
    • large sized prawns
    • salt
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1 shot cognac

Preparation method

Preparation of the pumpkin: 
1. Wash the pumpkin and cut the “lid” to make the pumpkin into a “bowl”. 
2. Scrape the inside with a spoon to remove seeds. 
3. Bake the pumpkin at 250° for about 1 hour, until the pulp is soft.

Preparation of the prawns in cream sauce: 
1. Sauté the onion and the garlic finely chopped in oil and butter.  
2. Add the tomato sauce, the bay leaf, salt, black pepper and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add the peeled prawns and cook a few minutes. 
4. Dissolve the flour in a little of coconut milk or whipping (heavy) cream. 
5. Add the whipping (heavy) cream, the coconut milk and flour dissolved to the mixture, a little at a time, and stir frequently until the cream is thickened. 
6. Season with salt and black pepper; remove and discard the bay leaf. 

To assemble the dish:  
1. Fill the baked pumpkin with the prawns in cream sauce and the cheese cubes. 
2. Bake the filled pumpkin at 350° until the cheese has melted. It takes about 15 minutes.
3. Decorate the filled pumpkin with prawns sautéed with olive oil and garlic and flambéed with cognac. 
4. Pumpkin is not only a bowl but is part of the dish so, serve the pulp of the pumpkin with the prawns in cream sauce. Serve with white rice. 

Yield: 4 – 6 servings.