My husband and I were at the Taytay public market earlier on Sunday. Our 12-year-old had been asking for shrimps for weeks and we finally got around to buying some. Prawns and shrimps are quite expensive and they are even more expensive during the rainy season when the prices of seafoods soar. We were debating over prawns or the large shrimps. Since they cost the same, I said we should get the prawns. So we did. A kilo. And we chose the best ones. We picked them out one by one. With the price tag, well, one wasted prawn is a lot of wasted money. When buying prawns or shrimps, choose the ones with the heads still firmly attached to the body. If the head is falling off when you handle the prawn or shrimp, it is no longer fresh.
When we got home, I washed them and picked out the twelve largest pieces for the sinigang. The rest were cooked as camaron rebosado (butterflied prawns quite similar to the Japanese prawn tempura), the recipe and photos of which I will post later.
Sinigang is traditionally cooked with a lot of vegetables–kangkong (water spinach), talbos ng kamote (tender leaves of sweet potatoes), sitaw (string beans), talong (eggplant), gabi (taro) and sili (chili pepper) among others.
12 large prawns
1 onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 head of garlic, minced
1 bunch of kangkong (leaves and upper stalks only)
1 eggplant, sliced
1 green chili pepper
1 pack of “sinigang” mix (I used tamarind-based) good for 1 liter of soup
1 tbsp. cooking oil
salt or patis (salted fish sauce)
Cooking procedure :
Wash the prawns well. Pull off the two longest tentacles.
Heat the cooking oil in a large saucepan or casserole. Saute the garlic. Add the onions, chili pepper and tomatoes. Stir until the onions are transparent and the tomatoes start to crumble. Add 1 liter of water and salt or patis and bring to a boil. Add the eggplant slices, cover and simmer for ten minutes. Pour in the sinigang mix. Stir well. Add the kangkong. Push them down gently to submerged them in the hot broth. Simmer for another minute. Add the prawns. Cover and simmer for 1-2 minutes. The prawns are cooked when they change color. But if you prefer them thoroughly cooked, turn off the heat, cover and let the prawns continue cooking in the hot broth for another minute.