Main course

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


A favorite of my family. There is a saying in my home country (Philippines), add coconut milk to any dish and  your food will come out perfect. Growing up, I still remember my brothers hard at work grating the coconuts to be use for the main course, my Mom would cook for our lunch or dinner. They take turns in the grating horse ( a contraption where one can sit down and a sort of grater is attached into  the head of the stool).  It sounds complicated but it wasn't really. Anyways, it became a family affair where all the kids can take turns grating and having a good laugh along the way.

Fast forward to now, of course I don't need to take the odious chore of grating coconuts. All I need to do is open a can and presto, instant coconut milk for the harried housewife.

1 kilo fresh or frozen and thawed Shrimps ( 2.4lb)   
1 can coconut milk
1 medium onion
4 cloves of garlic- minced
2 bunches of pepper leaves
2 small siling labuyo or green chili pepper
1/4c water
1tbsp. olive oil
2tsp. fish sauce (patis) you can add more per your taste or you can use salt
a dash of sugar

Clean shrimps (do not remove shells), cut off antenna. Separate the heads from 6 shrimps put aside in a bowl (for the rest of the shrimps leave as is). Mashed the shrimp heads in 1/4c water , drain and reserve liquid for cooking, discard shrimp heads.

Saute garlic and onions in olive oil.  When translucent, add shrimps, coconut milk, water and the green chili peppers.  Cover and let simmer for 5mins. (if you don't want it to be too spicy, take out chili peppers after 5 mins.). Add fish sauce to taste and a dash of sugar and the  pepper leaves. Let it simmer (medium to low heat), once the shrimps turns pink, then your dish is done.

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