Don’t you just love the colors… this sinigang na sugpo has everything: color, texture, flavor. It is a soup dish with generous amounts of seafood and vegetables. I cooked it for Sunday’s dinner. According to my husband and kids, it was delicious. I wouldn’t know. I don’t eat prawns or shrimps. I am allergic to them. Cooking them was no problem though. I seasoned the broth before adding the prawns. Hence, I didn’t have to taste the broth afterwards.
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).
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) among others.
- 12 large prawns
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- ½ head of garlic, minced
- 1 bunch of kangkong (leaves and upper stalks only)
- 1 eggplant, sliced
- 1 green chili
- 1 cup tamarind juice (see how to extract)
- 1 tbsp. cooking oil
- salt or patis (fish sauce)
- Rinse the prawns well. Cut off the antennae.
- Heat the cooking oil in a large saucepan or casserole. Saute the garlic. Add the onions, chili and tomatoes. Stir until the onions are transparent and the tomatoes start to crumble.
- Add one liter of water and salt or patis and bring to a boil.
- Add the eggplant slices, cover and simmer for ten minutes.
- Add the kangkong. Push them down gently to submerge them in the hot broth. Simmer for another minute.
- Pour in the tamarind juice. Taste and add more salt or patis to balance the flavors.
- Stir in the prawns. Cover the pan and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. The prawns are cooked when they change color.