I think Filipino cuisine is quite unique and it gives me pleasure to share one of our tasty dishes today. We do use coconut milk/cream like a lot of other Asian countries but we flavour it differently. My niece Nina is a wonderful chef and I love her "ginataang kuhol" or snails in coconut milk. This is her recipe but I've used prawns and added spinach leaves instead.
Try to avoid using shelled prawns. The head and shell of the prawns, like most shellfish, provide a lot of flavour.
1 dozen whole prawns, trimmed and deveined, head and shells intact
1/2 c finely chopped red onions
1 T minced garlic
1/2 c finely diced roma tomatoes
1 thumb-size ginger, julienned
1/8 c fish sauce
1/2 - 1 t sugar, to taste
3/4 can of 400 ml coconut cream
2 handfuls of English spinach leaves, roughly torn into large pieces
2 T vegetable oil
hot green or red chillies, optional and to taste
Heat oil in a wok to medium high heat. Add garlic and onions and fry for 2 minutes until onions become translucent. Add ginger and fry for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked down a bit and the mixture is caramelised.
Add fish sauce then the prawns. Fry for 1 minute, allowing both sides of the prawns to cook evenly. Add coconut cream and sugar and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 4 minutes. Add the spinach leaves and cook until leaves are wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and serve hot.
Serves 2-3 or 3-4 as part of a banquet.
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