Look at these toasted pumpkin seeds. Aren’t they adorable? Sitting there all shy and peaceful, like a little girl in a schoolyard. You know, the one in the pink dress with the pigtails and the stunning smile. They could never possibly do anything mean or cross, right?
You would be right if that little girl had a pension for torturing small furry animals and little brothers. These pumpkin seeds have a dark side, but it’s well hidden. Lying in wait within that peaceful and calm exterior is a fiery bite that will send the squeamish running for milk or ice cream. You see, these pumpkin seeds are in league with a devilishly hot concoction known as sriracha, an intense Thai pepper sauce.
And they are both out to get you when you aren’t looking.
I’m not taking credit for the base recipe here. It’s a riff on a recipe from Elise at Simply Recipes, and her original recipe is linked at the bottom of this piece. My addition was hiding some heat in the mix by adding copious amounts of hot sauce to the liquid that usually adds the saltiness to the seeds.
By adding the sauce to the water, it goes all sneaky and doesn’t discolor the seeds at all, leaving you with something that looks innocent enough on the surface, but packs quite a surprise if you don’t know what you’re digging in to. If you’re not a fan of fiery foods, these probably aren’t for you.
My kids loved them. Seriously. They fell on them like wild dogs.
If you and your brood aren’t into spicy foods, simply adjust the levels of heat to suit your preferences or remove it altogether and have fun with this method. It will work on just about any type of edible seed you happen to encounter on your culinary journey, so be sure to try it out the next time you have a squash to core in your kitchen. You’ll end up with a snack for the following day for free!
- The seeds of one medium to large pumpkin
- Salt (Amount depends entirely on your tastes)
- Sriracha or other wickedly hot sauce of your choice
- Olive oil
- Move an oen rack to the topmost position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut top off pumpkin and scoop out seeds with a heavy metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Separate seeds from the stringy inside bits and rinse seeds well.
- Place seeds in a medium saucepan and add cold water until the seeds are floating about an inch off the bottom of the pan.Add salt (about 1/2 Tbsp. per cup of water used unless you like saltier seeds. We used quite a bit more.) Add Sriracha or hot sauce of choice and stir well. (The amount here is completely up to you. I used a good 2 Tbsp. of Sriracha, but then we like it pretty daarned warm, so add just a little if you're timid or a whole lot if you're the fire-loving type.)
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Drain well.
- Coat a baking sheet with olive oil and spread seeds in a single layer. Bake on the top rack of your preheated 400 degree oven for 10-20 minutes, depending on how golden you like them (Play with it, it's fine!) Allow to cool completely before eating.
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
Next time I’ll add something to the water that will color the seeds to let people know what they’re getting into. My wife has an allergy to extremely spicy foods, so I don’t feel right leaving them unmarked, as it were. Other han that, they are fabulous!
Links to other recipes like this:
- Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, from Elise at Simply Recipes
- How to toast Pumpkin Seeds, from Baking Bites
- Chili Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, from Elana’s Pantry