08 Jun2010


This is one of the easiest and most satisfying tapas or pulutan you can make in no time at all. Great with beer or some wine, this is so simple to make. Just buy some medium sized suahe or white shrimp. When you get home, brine the shrimp in a salt and water solution in a fridge for up to 1.5 hours before you are planning to cook them. Trim the shrimp of the “whiskers” and sharp horn on their heads. Drain and dry the shrimp well on paper towels. Heat up a pot of oil and deep fry the shrimp in uncrowded batches.


It will take only a minute or two to crisp up the whole shrimp and the entire thing is edible. Once the shrimp are out of the pan, sprinkle with salt pepper and some sweet or spicy paprika, and add lemon wedges to squeeze over top. The shells are fried and edible. Some folks love the fried shrimp heads, others like me, are not so keen on them.


This dish was inspired by two sources, Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks and a dish we enjoyed at a Japanese restaurant in Sta. Rosa a few weeks ago. Good food doesn’t have to be so expensive, nor take a huge amount of time to prepare. Make sure you have lots of beer or wine on hand when you serve these deep-fried suahe to guests… We served the fried shrimp together with a grilled squid salad.



  1. Betchay says:

    Another favorite of the family.This is what we always order at Emerald Garden(roxas blvd, in front of US embassy). I love the taste of suahe better than prawns or white shrimps.This is most sought after by Chinese that’s why if you are not early in the market you seldom find them on sale

    Jun 8, 2010 | 6:30 am


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  3. Footloose says:

    Mother owned a small fish pond at the end of town which was about three city blocks from home and it was looked after by a cousin who split with us whatever he scooped out of the water. Default treatment for this living shrimps was halabos; heat pot, ready cover, dump the shrimps in and cover with lid quickly. You could hear the poor critters hit the lid. They are done as soon as the pot quiets down. We fried them up your way later to heat them up for serving. I surreptitiously mangled each one in vinegar before eating which was a big no no and which made me guilty as when I dunk doughnut in coffee.

    Jun 8, 2010 | 6:56 am

  4. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    “Great with bear or some wine……” Hey MM, never tried bear with suahe……hehehehe;>)

    Jun 8, 2010 | 7:42 am

  5. Footloose says:

    I think he meant sirbisa.

    Jun 8, 2010 | 7:51 am

  6. Mom-Friday says:

    My mom also deep-fry suahe dipped in a simple thin batter of flour and cornstarch — but with or without the coating, this crispy suahe is always a winner!

    i agree, “Great with bear (BEER) or some wine…” heehee :D

    Jun 8, 2010 | 9:16 am

  7. junb says:

    Daniel Bouloud has an interesting way of cooking live shrimp. He lay down the live shrimp on a bed of salt with herbs and smoked flavored salt. Then he totally covered the shrimp with a pre heated 500 deg F salt for about 5 mins. This will be good for entertaining :)

    Jun 8, 2010 | 9:17 am

  8. mudra says:

    hello, MM. I hope you don’t mind my asking but how much salt and water must i use to brine the shrimp. Pasensya na I’m a novice cook… =)

    Jun 8, 2010 | 9:31 am

  9. Marketman says:

    mudra, I just eyeball it. But maybe for 5 cups of water try 1-2 tablespoons of salt. Brine for only 1 hour (if peeled, 1.5 hours if with shells) or it might get too salty. Drain and very quick rinse, dry with paper towels and you are good to go.

    Jun 8, 2010 | 10:05 am

  10. Marketman says:

    Artisan, hahaha. Thanks for catching that. I have been crazed lately, and have been trying to write a stockpile of posts for when we are on holiday, just to keep readers amused. The posts are less well edited so you will have to bear with the bare or less reviewed posts. In the meantime, with a bit of beer, the errors may not be unbearable. Hahaha. I am crazed but still have a sense of humor. Never should one say, break a leg… it’s too literal. Hahaha.

    Jun 8, 2010 | 10:11 am

  11. Teresa says:

    MM..you amuse me!! The dishes look so tempting placed side by side. We should try to eat more seafood now before the prices sky rocket due to the rainy season and typhoon weather.

    Jun 8, 2010 | 3:15 pm

  12. Teresa says:

    Did you fry this up in your wok, MM? What is the temperature needed to crisp up these tender morsels of shrimp?

    Jun 8, 2010 | 3:18 pm

  13. Marketman says:

    Teresa, I just used a 4-5 inch sided pot with lots of oil, high sides to reduce splattering. I didn’t measure temperature of oil, but it needs to be hot. It takes very little time to get these nice and crisp, but you must serve them immediately as they tend to soften rather quickly in our super humid weather.

    Jun 8, 2010 | 3:28 pm

  14. Lee says:

    16 more days and i will have beer.

    Jun 8, 2010 | 4:05 pm

  15. millet says:

    artisan chocolatier and footloose, you cracked me up!
    the smell of frying shrimp is one of the most delicious smells!

    Jun 8, 2010 | 4:44 pm

  16. Cathy says:

    Hi MM! I hope you don’t mind if I ask for the name of the Japanese restaurant where you dined. I was actually looking for a restaurant to go to in the Sta Rosa area this weekend. Thanks.

    Jun 8, 2010 | 8:17 pm

  17. Marketman says:

    Cathy, RYUMA was the name of the Japanese restaurant, but I wouldn’t recommend it… is WAS TOTALLY BIZARRE. Food was okay, but environment was truly weird. Try Kanin Club instead, nice twists to old Pinoy favorites and at very reasonable prices. I did a post on Kanin Club a few years back.

    Jun 8, 2010 | 8:19 pm

  18. Mari says:

    Grilled squid first…then fried shrimp!!! That’s mouthwatering MM! And that’s how I like them…esp. the shrimps. What a way to start the day…am already wishing it for dinner.
    Thanks MM!

    Jun 8, 2010 | 8:29 pm

  19. pinkytab says:

    On a completely differentopic…. Have been watching the results of your latest poll and cant help but compare it tothe ongoing vote tallying for VP. Binay is the beef tapa and Roxas is the longganisa. GO Roxas!

    Jun 9, 2010 | 12:38 am

  20. moti says:

    Hi MM,
    Love your site! Too bad we can’t get suahe here. The shrimps available here have been frozen and no matter how I cook them, the shell always sticks to the flesh… any tricks to prevent sticking?

    Jun 9, 2010 | 12:56 am

  21. EbbaBlue says:

    Hope you dont mind my asking, what is the need for brining in salt before cooking? I just came from my annual visit to the Philippines, and in my stay in Quezon Province, somebody gave me medium size shrimp (very fresh still jumping live) from their fishpond. I hardly washed them and deefried them just like yours. Taste is ok, but seems strange, I was wondering if I was just used to “previously frozen” shrimp I buy in large Oriental Seafood supermarket here in Texas? or there is something different in shrimp caught in Phils than in other ocean? Thanks.

    Jun 10, 2010 | 1:54 pm

  22. Marketman says:

    EbbaBlue, brining just makes the shrimp more succulent. If you start off with live shrimp, no need to do this. If the shrimp is a couple of hours old or frozen say a day or two, brining has noticeable results. moti, sorry, I have no idea how to prevent sticking… pinkytab, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like he caught up officially…

    Jun 11, 2010 | 2:41 am

  23. dragon says:

    MM, Moti,

    From what I’ve heard and learned (Chinese and elders) that if the skin sticks, the shrimp/prawn/suahe, etc is old and overcooked.

    Jun 14, 2010 | 11:29 am


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