Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Prawns and Squid in Crab Fat and Coconut Milk

As much as I love cooking, it was never my duty to cook food in our house. It was my dad who cooks our daily meals. My dad is a very good cook. His Beef Caldereta is a great hit in the family. But at times like this, when he goes to our province to visit my lolo, he leaves this duty to me.

I was never fond of cooking Filipino cuisine. If I do, it probably was an experiment. You know, mix and matching all those Filipino ingredients we have in our kitchen and ending up creating a good dish. hehe

I was at the grocery last night and got some prawns, squid and a bottled crab fat paste. I don't know how the latter tasted, I just wanted to give it a try. At first I just thought of sauteing all those ingredients in butter and garlic but today I wanted it to be more Filipino and added gata or coconut milk.

apologies for the photos, no talent with photography

I rarely cook lunch or dinner especially when my older brother is here. He's one of the pickiest eater I know. He likes his food saltier. But yeay he liked it. I'm starting to focus on my seasoning nowadays. And a lot noticed that my cooking is better now. Neil Perry said that the difference of a chef from an amateur cook is seasoning. Amateur cooks tend to hold back. I guess that's the reason why.


500 grams prawns, peeled and deveined. (this is quit tiring)
200 grams squid rings
    1 cup coconut milk
    1 cup crab fat paste
    1 white onion, diced
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    2 tbsp olive oil
    2 siling labuyo / chili (add or remove depening on you preference)
 1/4 cup water or stock
salt and pepper to taste
a tbsp butter (optional)


1. Made my own coconut milk. Add hot water to the ground coconut. Let it sit til cold and squeeze out all the water and strain.
2. Peel and devein the prawns
3. Prepare the aromatics, onions and garlic

The left over ground coconut


For the Prawns and Squid:
1. Heat the oil in medium heat. Add a little butter (optional) and let it melt.
2. Add half of the minced garlic and saute for few seconds.
3. Add shrimp and cook til color changes. Once the prawns and orange/red add the shrimps and cook for a minute.
4. Season with salt and pepper. Set a side.

For the Sauce:
1. Heat the oil in medium heat. Add onions and sweat until translucent. Add the remaining minced garlic and saute for few seconds. Don't let it burn.
2. Add crab paste and cook for few minutes. Maybe a minute or two. 
3. When the crab paste dries a little, add chopped chilis and cook for few seconds.
4. Add 1/4 cup of stock or water in 3 batches. Let it reduce to almost dry.
5. Cover with the coconut milk and simmer until it thickens.
6. Add cooked prawns and squid and reduce more to desired consistency

Serve it with rice. This would be nice on a cold rainy weather. The spiciness would warm you up.


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