17 Jun2009

crabcorn5

Our drive down to Nasugbu was relatively quick and uneventful. Roadside stands in Laguna, Cavite and Batangas seemed to have an unusually large seasonal bounty of sweet corn. I wondered out loud how vendor after vendor could offer just boiled corn and nothing else… no roasted corn, no buttered corn, no corn chowder, no corn relish, pickled corn, soup, etc. No variation, innovation or value-added. There was nothing to distinguish one vendor from the next one just a few meters down the road. A sale was completely based on luck or serendipity — where travelers or tourists chose to stop to make their purchase. The same observation applies to Indian mango vendors along the same route, earlier in the summer. No one makes chutney, pickled mangoes, preserves, etc. which would expand their offerings, extend the life of the seasonal produce and hopefully improve profits. As I pondered this local penchant for the seasonal produce equivalent of squatting curbside while shooting the breeze with a neighbor, I passed the last stand selling corn…

crabcorn1

But early the next morning, at the local market, the abundance of sweet corn was hard to ignore, and decided to buy several ears so that we could experiment with a corn soup later that day. Add to the market basket two kilos of alimasag or crab and about half a kilo of large suahe or white shrimp as well. This was my first attempt at making corn soup, and preferably a version without any cream or milk which would be more reminiscent of a corn chowder… I decided to try making a soup completely from scratch despite the lack of recipe and previous experience. The resulting soup was an absolute “slam-dunk” – few experimental recipes this year turned out better… and all of this from locally available seasonal ingredients!

carbcorn2

I didn’t measure my ingredients too closely so you will have to taste as you go, adjust when you feel it is necessary. First, steam the crabs for 15 minutes or so (unless they are really large and need a few more minutes). Once the crabs have cooled, carefully remove all of the crabmeat. I had barely 2-2.5 cups worth of crabmeat when all was said and done. Keep the crab claws whole if you want a fancy plating garnish. Discard gills and other really mucky bits from the crabs, but don’t discard all the shells. In a stock pot, add the shells, legs, and cartilage of the cleaned out crabs. Next peel the shrimp and put the heads and shells into the stock pot with the crab shells. Cover shells with water and place over medium heat until it boils, lower heat a bit and let your shellfish stock simmer for some 20 minutes or so. Turn the heat off and let this broth cool slightly, then strain once or twice. You should have some 5-6 cups of stock.

crabcorn3

Next, shuck 8 ears of corn and remove the corn silk or “hair”. With a knife, slice down the side of the cob, removing the corn kernels. Don’t worry if you only get say 2/3 of a kernel and not whole kernels like those in a can. Set the sliced corn aside. In another stockpot, add the 8 cobs (now stripped of kernels), cover with water and simmer for some 20 minutes or so. Strain this liquid and you should have approximately 8 cups or so of corn stock.

crabcorn6

In a heavy enameled or stainless pot, add 3-4 tablespoons of butter and turn the heat to medium, add one finely chopped onion and stir until the onion is translucent. Add 1-2 large peeled and chopped tomatoes and sweat this for a minute or two. Next add some 4 cups or so of shellfish stock and simmer for a few minutes. Add 6 cups of corn stock and simmer for a few minutes. Add salt to taste, err on less rather than more, you can adjust seasoning later. Taste the stock… it should be tasty but not incredibly concentrated like a stock from a cube.

crabcorn4

Of the sliced corn kernels, I put half into a food processor to blitz until mashed/smoothish. Add this to the soup and simmer for a few minutes. Then add the whole kernels of corn and cook a little more. Add the peeled and sliced shrimp and a minute later, the peeled crab meat and season with white pepper and salt if necessary. Simmer until it reaches a consistency you like. The starch from the corn thickens the soup slightly. Add some chopped green onions for color. And when everything is cooked, serve piping hot in generously sized bowls. This soup was really, really good. And it had no cream whatsoever, but still tasted a bit creamy. It is perhaps best described as a rustic or hearty preparation. Some corn soups are so refined and strained that they are very smooth, without a hint of corn kernels. This soup was chunky and you knew it had fresh corn in it. The shrimp, crab meat and other ingredients were abundant. The flavors all seemed to work well together. Everyone who tasted the soup that night had seconds, and a large pot was completely wiped out. Definitely a keeper of a recipe. We also discussed at the table what might make the soup even better and everyone seemed to agree that some crisp fried pancetta or prosciutto sprinkled on top would definitely take this a step higher. A little chopped chili might also work additional wonders… :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Ariel says:

    with a salad on the side, looks like a meal in itself. I like the leopard color of the crabs. a topping of shredded parmesan cheese would be good.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 5:47 am

     
  2. betty q. says:

    That looks sooo good , MM! Just bought corn from nearby produce market…still wASHINGTON GROWN, NEVERTHELESS, SOOOO SWEET! Lucky, I still have about 1/2 dozen left and crab is on sale at TNT. Talk about timing!!!

    MM, could you ask Mr. Carandang something for me? I just planted the RED RUBY corn that Maria Clara mentioned awhile back. If he would like to try it, I shall bring a lot of seeds when I come home. I isolated one of the plots and just planted RED RUBY. I should have close to 500 ears if all goes well and I will let about 50 ears mature for seeds for Mr. Carandang if he would like to try it. It is organically grown for the Community Garden here is an organic garden!

    It sure would like nice on aplatter …red, white , and yellow corn!

    Jun 17, 2009 | 5:48 am

     
  3. nykusinera says:

    wow! i wish i was one of those who wiped out that pot! this is cooking with love.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 5:51 am

     
  4. Isagarch says:

    How do you stay fit with 304 tablespoons of butter? Lol. Just a small typo.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 6:14 am

     
  5. Ging says:

    Hi MM. I like to grate the corn when making corn soup. The juices come out and help make the soup creamy. Have you tried these other combinations? Corn, squash and kangkong; corn, beef and malunggay. These are regulars on our dinner table. Corn is just so versatile.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 6:23 am

     
  6. megamags says:

    this sounds soooo good. also, for extra corn flavor (tip thanks to Cook’s Illustrated), you can “milk” the corn by first grating the kernels (from a few ears that you haven’t sliced) and then scraping the remaining pulp with the back of a butter knife. you end up making “said” each ear of corn, and getting an even creamier soup sans the cream :)

    Jun 17, 2009 | 6:29 am

     
  7. consol says:

    pardon, dear MM but … “add 304 tablespoons of butter ” — i suppose this should be “3-4 tablespoons” instead? otherwise, that would be a heckuva lot of butter! much as i love the stuff, that much could soon find you pushing daisies :-)

    Jun 17, 2009 | 6:32 am

     
  8. Maria Clara says:

    Totally agree with you too much of our precious produce goes to waste when bounty harvest comes around the corner. No canning processing plant available to extend the life of our produce. Our Department of Agriculture should reach out to communities for backyard industry in making use of our produce from pickling, chutney and to other means of preserving the produce like jelly and jam making. When the offer varied to the buying public the demand will expand thus our stream of commerce exchange will generate local economic growth. I would say your soup is really soupy, crabby, shrimpy, corny and packed with all the elements of a hearty soup to warm up one’s appetite.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 6:53 am

     
  9. Cecilia says:

    Beautifully yummy!

    Jun 17, 2009 | 7:26 am

     
  10. Marketman says:

    consol and isagarch, thanks, have edited the post. And yes, 304 tablespoons of butter would be outrageous indeed. :)

    Jun 17, 2009 | 7:28 am

     
  11. Apicio says:

    Looks like an up-market version of the old North American Chinese restaurant standby, corn and crab meat soup which I have always viewed as lacking the requisite pepper leaves (dahong sili). Had you processed it further and patiently passed it through a chinoise, you would have come closer to my grail soup, crab bisque to which 304 tablespoons of butter would have been just about par.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 7:51 am

     
  12. Cris Jose says:

    Hi, MM!!! Food lucks super yummy.. I might try it one of these days… btw, Bobby Chinn will be in the Mafbex 2009 at World Trade Center here in Pasay.. which is just a stone’s throw away from our office… do you have any information what’s his cooking demo sked? I would really, really like to get even just a glimpse of him… please….. :)

    Jun 17, 2009 | 8:18 am

     
  13. bernadette says:

    thanks for this sumptious recipe, MM!

    I too wonder why local folks hereabouts our island can only grumble about the lack and high prices of seasonal produce when they only have to learn the ropes of preserving them!

    Your blog has always been precious to me because of sooo many recipes and tips it has given me ( as a simple housewife). I have been copying pertinent ones actually and hope to produce it several times so I can gift them to a nearby teacher of the Mangyans as well as other women who can benefit from these. Kaya nga…nasaan na ba libro mo??? :-)

    Jun 17, 2009 | 8:21 am

     
  14. Cris Jose says:

    sorry .. I meant “looks”super yummy… what was I thinking? guess I’m just excited about Bobby Chinn… lol

    Jun 17, 2009 | 8:24 am

     
  15. Marketman says:

    Cris, sorry, I don’t know anything about this visit by Bobby Chinn… bernadette, if we could teach folks how to preserve safely, there should be an abundance of artisanal products that would be good for everybody concerned… but consumers also have to seek these out…

    Jun 17, 2009 | 8:34 am

     
  16. sanojmd says:

    very timely for a very very cold winter…

    Jun 17, 2009 | 10:01 am

     
  17. Lou says:

    Scrumptious recipe MM. Love it! sanomjd’s comment also set me thinking. Here in British Columbia we’re experiencing one heat wave after another but I STILL love making soups. Maybe it’s similar to why Indians love chilli and spices; in fact in the south the dishes seem to get more fiery! They say all those hot ingredients help cool down the body rather than the opposite…

    Though in any case, my Pinoy heritage gives me a penchant for soups and stews. As though meals wouldn’t be complete without something liquid-y :-)

    Jun 17, 2009 | 10:47 am

     
  18. Kai says:

    Great recipe. I’m thinking of using the “native” white corn, which is what we usually use for savory dishes (the yellow variety is reserved for sweetened dishes). It would make the soup real thick and malagkit, though I can’t be sure about the taste….

    Jun 17, 2009 | 10:53 am

     
  19. Ellen says:

    Crab and corn soup is a comfort food for me. I haven’t tried simmering the corn cobs so I’m excited to try your recipe. I’m sure it will be a more flavorful soup. Thanks, MM! I really learn a lot from you.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 11:03 am

     
  20. diday says:

    Looks delicious…. toasted garlic bread, please….

    Jun 17, 2009 | 11:54 am

     
  21. consol says:

    you’re welcome, dear MM, although that minor item did not detract at all from the interesting post. i shall try to recreate this soup using your scrumptious recipe. thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 12:31 pm

     
  22. myra_p says:

    Kai, I’ve made corn soup with native corn and I actually prefer it to sweet corn.

    Tip: After cutting off the kernels, use the blunt side of your knife to scrape off the starch left on the cob. This will help flavor and thicken the soup even more.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 1:14 pm

     
  23. Lava Bien says:

    Yup, we sure should have more choices and varieties. See if they let their ka etchingan achuchuchu flourish,like our very talented badings (and they are everywhere), our roadside vendors would offer more of your wishes, yummy!

    Jun 17, 2009 | 2:22 pm

     
  24. Jannah says:

    Mr MM i love corns. Corn is my comfort food, i always have it in my freezer although it frozen kernel type.

    When I was a student travelling from Nueva Ecija to Manila, my sister and I always buy ‘nilagang mais’ to eat in the bus.

    We also cooked corn soup like yours not with crab and shrimps but with whatever meat we have plus dahon ng malungay.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 4:26 pm

     
  25. GayeN says:

    That looks soo good MM! corn soup is my favorite comfort food. I also prefer the native corn (malagkit) variety. We always buy corn from roadside vendors in Asingan Pangasinan whenever my family go to Urdaneta or Dagupan Pangasinan, I believe they have the sweetest native corn around rivaling even the sweet corn variety. =D

    Jun 17, 2009 | 6:14 pm

     
  26. Fred Lopez says:

    My stomach grumbled when I saw the first pic… I’m craving for my aunt’s corn soup now. Her version of corn soup is quite spartan, just grated local white corn, a few spices and lots of dahon ng sili.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 6:31 pm

     
  27. luna miranda says:

    Mouth-watering! Perfect for this cold, wet weather we’re having!

    Jun 17, 2009 | 6:42 pm

     
  28. chinky says:

    I love fresh corn soup. We usually have it with shrimps and malunggay. This looks yummy. Will try it.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 7:44 pm

     
  29. Tok says:

    MM: miss ko tuloy ang “SUWAM” sa Pampanga…di pa ako nakakita ng mais dito sa KSA.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 9:18 pm

     
  30. Vicky/Evic Go says:

    Back in Cabuyao, Laguna, we used to make corn soup simply by sauteeing the corn w the usual garlic, onions, tomatoes w optional pork bits or bagoong. Adding plain water or hugas bigas. But what makes it soooo good is adding “malunggay” leaves to the soup just before shutting the heat off & serving. I haven’t found a good substitute for malunggay here (good also for sinuam na tulya – encourages lactation for nursing moms). Talbos ng sili is good. Maybe kangkong or spinach or watercress – the latter two are too mild. Maybe Swiss Chard would be good, too!

    Jun 17, 2009 | 9:35 pm

     
  31. Vicky/Evic Go says:

    I have a question MM – do you know how to make “binatog na mais” – I don’t know if they have a term for this here in the uSA – in the South maybe. My sister told me the name it could be known by here but I forget. And while you’re at it, do you have one for “adobong mais”?

    Jun 17, 2009 | 9:44 pm

     
  32. betty q. says:

    If you want to thicken it a bit, MM, try adding some malagkit grains (glutinous rice grains) while simmering the soup to death until it looks like congee before adding all the good stuff. It will remain thick and not watery at all.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 10:10 pm

     
  33. wil_b cariaga says:

    my mom used to cook corn soup with malunggay, she uses the native white corn, its more starchy i think. . . it’s so good that i eat it with rice. .. hehe

    Jun 18, 2009 | 12:29 am

     
  34. Maria Clara says:

    Vicky/Evic Go: You do not need to make your binatog na mais from scratch. At any grocery go to their Hispanic food section and grab a can of “HOMINY” that is the binatog the mais. What I do I steam them for about 20 minutes before topping them with shaved coconut. If your local grocer does not carry it go to any Hispanic market in your area or Smart & Final carry it. Hominy is the counterpart of boil rice in the Hispanic community for what I was told.

    Jun 18, 2009 | 1:19 am

     
  35. Maria Clara says:

    Vicky/Evic Go: Of course I opened the can and drained the binatog before steaming them. and I meant boiled rice.

    Jun 18, 2009 | 1:21 am

     
  36. pegi says:

    Yummy! I will try your recipe, Mr. MM.

    betty q: I am also from Northern CA, where can I buy the Red Ruby corn variety here in Ca?

    Jun 18, 2009 | 1:58 am

     
  37. Vicky/Evic Go says:

    Re “binatog” – you are right Maria Clara. Hominy is the word, but I think it’s more “southern” than Hispanic, as in “hominy & grits”.

    Anyway, I found this reference to “binatog”:
    http://ascientistinthekitchen.net/food/binatog/

    Now how about “adobong mais”?

    Jun 18, 2009 | 2:52 am

     
  38. Vicky/Evic Go says:

    Re: Binatog – Hominy – Grits – Posole

    The Hispanic word for this New World item is: posole

    http://www.ranchogordo.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=RG&Product_Code=POSC01&Category_Code=DCP1

    Hominy when ground becomes grits; in New Orleans the whole hominy is called “big hominy” & the ground form as “little hominy” or “grits”

    Jun 18, 2009 | 3:00 am

     
  39. fortuitous faery says:

    man, that sure beats knorr instant crab and corn soup!

    Jun 18, 2009 | 3:41 am

     
  40. Maria Clara says:

    Vicki/Evic Go: The posole link you have – you need to cook them more. The peripheral layer of the kernel was cleaned but needs more cooking in order to make them palatable. The canned Hominy I am talking about are ready to go and if you want them taste like the ones our food hawkers or at our wet market they sell you have lined your pan or steaming bowl with banana leaves and when ready wrap them in banana leaves while still piping hot and toss some freshly grated coconut and voila taste exactly like the ones we have without the nuisance of a jet lag. I prefer sprinkling them with salt rather than sugar. I will not travel to Southern part for a can of hominy if I can them at the shelf of my grocery Hispanic food section. Hominy is hominy regardless where it came from. Making them from scratch is laborious. You have to get the matured kernel boil them with powdered apog and then rub them with a stone or wash them in rough concrete surface to get rid of the first skin of the kernel. Boil them again to get rid of the apog and then rinse and then boil them till the wee hours or still the cows come home – meaning approximately five hours of continuous nonstop boiling. I will not burn my utility bills for binatog if there is a can of hominy at my nearest market.

    Jun 18, 2009 | 4:14 am

     
  41. Maria Clara says:

    Pegi: I got them from Gelson’s Market and Bristol Farms Market.

    Jun 18, 2009 | 4:43 am

     
  42. docgelo says:

    i think this dish is a must-try!
    i so like crabs and shrimps.
    thanks for sharing, will ask my wife to cook this for me soon.

    Jun 18, 2009 | 8:14 am

     
  43. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Ummm…that is a great looking soup. Yum…I just had breakfast but all this corn discussion is making me hungry again. Ha ha ha—it makes me feel fatter tuloy…

    Maria Clara,I’ve not had binatog in a long time…I guess it’s cause vendors are not allowed in the village…makes me crave for them now. I remember my balikbayan sister would look for this whenever she went home. Let me see if we have canned hominy in the grocery..just for curiosity–cause I am sure I can find binatog somewhere here. The novels I read when I was young sometimes mentioned hominy…and…it’s good to know….the exchanges on this site is really wonderful!!!

    Jun 18, 2009 | 8:21 am

     
  44. peterb says:

    I think i was having crabs and shrimps the same time you were doing this. Now i’m thinking that i should’ve made some stock with all the shells! Great looking soup MM! This is something i will definitely do!

    Jun 18, 2009 | 8:55 am

     
  45. Marketman says:

    I did a post on binatog a long time ago, but didn’t have a recipe then or now…

    Jun 18, 2009 | 9:12 am

     
  46. pegi says:

    Maria Clara, thank you! But I don’t think I see those markets around here in the Bay Area.

    Jun 18, 2009 | 7:33 pm

     
  47. Vicky/Evic Go says:

    Yes MM – your binatog post came up in my google search! Thanks!

    Maria Clara – we have Hispanic grocery store/market in Bellevile NJ, next town to Bloomfield. But I will check the Hispanic section of ShopRite first where most of the stuff is Goya brand. Of course you’re right, a waste of time to go South for posole/pozole when you can buy a can off your grocer’s shelf. Like you I prefer salt to sugar too.

    Incidentally, whne I’m eating out & I see someone grab the salt shaker instead of sugar for their grapefruit or any fresh fruit, I always think “Must be Filipina/o!” My ‘kano’ friends look at me in wonder when I salt my fruit! Can’t help it – just tastes better than sugar for me!

    Jun 18, 2009 | 10:58 pm

     
  48. Ted says:

    I love any soup with corn in it, whether it’s chowder, chinese egg corn soup, suwam na mais with dahon sili, even Mais con hielo or mais con queso ice cream for dessert,,,I love them all. Maria Clara, yes, i’ve learned to substitute hominy for our very own binatog, although i’ll try steaming them next time, thanks for you tip, i normally just put them in a pot and add water and simmer them for up to 10 minutes or till tender, drain them to a bowl add with freshly grated coconut and salt and cover and shake them till it’s all mixed in.

    Jun 19, 2009 | 5:00 am

     
  49. sasha says:

    mmm love corn! your soup looks delicious. do you think that by adding some egg whites to the soup it can help thicken it as well? cheers mm!

    Jun 19, 2009 | 9:43 pm

     
  50. betty q. says:

    Thanks for the hominy tip, MC! I went to the grocery store today to buy a can of hominy and guess what!…I left the store with a whole bunch of other stuff but forgot the hominy…the only thing I wanted to really buy at the grocery store! I know I should have brought a list but I really just wanted a can of hominy to try the binatog!

    Jun 20, 2009 | 4:53 am

     
  51. Queen B says:

    Perfect for a cold night! Will try it one of these days. We’ve been having 2-3 soup nights per week, so this will go into the menu for the coming weeks. Thanks MM!

    Jun 20, 2009 | 5:26 pm

     
  52. Marketman says:

    sasha, yes, egg whites would thicken it a bit…

    Jun 26, 2009 | 8:23 pm

     
  53. erwin says:

    hello can you help me were to sell sweet corn here is my number 09264795250 thanks a lot

    Mar 19, 2010 | 3:30 pm

     
  54. bhelita says:

    hi guys where can i buy hominy here in the philippines? I have tried in bigger supermarkets but still can’t find hominy..:( help!

    Nov 23, 2010 | 3:16 am

     
 

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