Monday, May 5, 2008
Hubby brought home a kilo of small tiger prawns from one of the bigger supermarkets in the city. This is actually a surprise because we do not usually buy seafood from the supermarkets. We think that seafoods from the wet markets are fresher and cheaper. But Hubby says this was on sale. It is fifty percent off the regular price of 600 pesos (roughly US$14) So at 300 pesos (around US$ 7), it is a good buy.
I know when you say tiger prawns in other countries, it means giant prawns, sometimes weighing half a kilo each. They are talking about humongous size here when referring to tiger prawns. So why are the prawns in the picture above small? In this country, sometimes the words shrimp and prawns are used interchangeably in markets and restaurants. A shrimp is a shrimp; a prawn is, well, just a bigger shrimp. Small and medium shrimp are sold simply as shrimp, while large, extra-large, and jumbo shrimp are called prawns. Unfortunately, this "rule" doesn't always hold. But do not be confused yet. More often than not, the pink/white variety are called shrimps. The darker plumper gray colored ones are called tiger prawns. Hence, tiger prawns comes in different sizes too.
At first I was doubtful of the freshness quality of these prawns on sale. But it turned out to be good. The heads are still firmly intact, the shells still shiny. Hubby says it must be because this is a large popular supermarket, many people shop here, therefore the turnover must be fast. So they have fresh supplies too! This made me rethink my bias against the freshness of seafoods in a supermarket...
Anyway, I wanted to try the chinese style Drunken Prawns, but I do not have the Chinese Shao Shing wine in my pantry. So, I experimented and used beer instead! We have tried Beer Chicken before, and it was deliciously fragrant. So I was confident to use beer. And it turned out to be truly truly good! Try this recipe. It is easy to cook, so flavorful and utterly delicious!
1 K tiger prawns, shells intact
5 T canola oil
4 slices ginger
5 T garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 C beer ( I used San Miguel Pale Pilsen)
salt and pepper
spring onions, chopped for garnish
1. Wash the prawns very well. You can cut off some of the 'whiskers' if you like.
2. Pour the cooking oil in a wok or a skillet. Add the ginger. When the ginger turns light brown, add the onions and garlic. Let them cook for a while, until fragrant. But do not let them burn.
3. Add the prawns. Stir fry for a while. Then add beer. Cover. Cook at high heat. After 2 minutes, lift cover and mix up everything together so that the prawns can cook evenly. Cover again. Allow all the prawns to soak up the flavor of the beer.
4. Prawns are cooked when they turn bright pink/red color. Check once in a while. Add salt and pepper to taste. Dish up. Sprinkle with green onions before serving.
The kids love the sauce of this dish. At first the seven-year-old Son was asking if he will get drunk on the beer sauce. Of course not! The alcohol content has already evaporated. So, he happily dunked lots of sauce on his rice.
As we were eating, I thought it would also be good to add jalapeno peppers or chillie peppers (Siling Haba) to this dish. Or maybe just sprinkle with the Japanese S & B powdered red peppers would also be good if you like your dish with the spicy kick. But it is also very good as it is.
Here are some more shrimps and prawns recipes:
Shrimp-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms