02 Sep2009


Another baptismal wok dish was a simple stir-fry of prawns with chilli sauce. I beheaded the prawns because I wanted to use the heads to make a broth for another dish, and to make sure the dish cooked quickly without excess moisture. So into a hot wok goes a little vegetable or peanut oil, then minced garlic for a few seconds, some chopped onions and a quick stir…


I added some whole dried red chilies and tossed that all for a few more seconds. With the flames on full blast, I added the prawns, several tablespoons of bottled chili and garlic sauce and mixed this well until all of the prawns had just turned orange. Take care not to overcook the prawns or they will get tough.


About 30 seconds before removing from the heat, I added some sliced green onions and a bit of salt to taste and it was done…


It’s really amazing how fast and economical cooking in a wok seems to be. A little oil goes a long way. The gas used, while plentiful, is only required for seconds or minutes. And the ingredients just speak for themselves. This dish was delicious with some steamed rice. The cooking went so quickly that I have barely enough to write to put text between each of these photos. :)




  1. Edwin D. says:

    Love this recipe.

    Sep 2, 2009 | 12:26 pm


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  3. Chowhound says:

    Drool! That looks gorgeous, it’s making me really hungry and I’m also experiencing a serious wok envy :-).

    Sep 2, 2009 | 12:33 pm

  4. Divina says:

    There’s nothing like gorgeous stir-fried shrimps like that on a hot wok.

    Sep 2, 2009 | 1:08 pm

  5. millet says:

    hmm..seems like the wok is screaming “overtiiiiime!!!” :-)

    Sep 2, 2009 | 1:31 pm

  6. Fred Lopez says:

    Reminds me of paluto dishes in dampa restaurants, very tasty!

    Beheaded the prawns… lol (makes sense after watching D9)

    Sep 2, 2009 | 1:41 pm

  7. Quillene says:


    nagutom uli ako!!!!

    i can tell, MM you are really enjoying the new wok!

    is there a significant difference if you do not season the wok vs seasoning it? It is the first time I came across such a term for a cooking utensil…

    thanks for the coming clarification!


    Sep 2, 2009 | 1:44 pm

  8. Jannah says:


    Sep 2, 2009 | 2:16 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Quillene, as the woks were raw metal straight from the factory, it still had a LOT of iron dust and a terrible smell. So while just washing it out and oiling it is one simple way of seasoning it, the traditional approach uses the chives and lard treatment I describe in earlier posts to ensure that it has no foul aromas and it starts to develop a nice patina that eventually makes it effectively a non-stick pan without the chemical treatments… :) In some ways, a palayok is also seasoned, though not as complicated as a wok. I have a post on seasoning a palayok in the archives.

    Sep 2, 2009 | 2:17 pm

  10. fried-neurons says:

    Wow, I’m jealous! I can’t have a real wok because my range cooktop is electric. :(

    Anyway… since that type of cooking uses very high heat, is the normal, everyday vegetable oil ok? Or is an oil with a very high smoke point like peanut oil required?

    Sep 2, 2009 | 3:01 pm

  11. sanojmd says:

    wow, i am definitely envious! wish i could play with the same toy.. i really need to buy a new wok!

    Sep 2, 2009 | 3:33 pm

  12. Jody says:

    The shrimp look truly delicious.

    Do you use a stand when taking the photos or do you simply take them by hand?

    I am unable to take good photos as I have a slight shake in my hand. My advice to all the readers is to never get old.

    Sep 2, 2009 | 6:10 pm

  13. Connie C says:

    MM, try this in your new wok:

    Saute finely minced garlic, as much as you like in some butter or half butter, half olive oil.
    Add shrimps. I like the smaller ones. They are sweeter and cook faster. Season with salt or seafood seasoning ( Old Bay). The freshly made one from the Fish Market is better if available. Add 1/4 to half a cup or so of 7 Up or Sprite. Cover for a couple of minutes or so. Remove from heat when cooked. As BettyQ says masaaaaraaap! Parang ginataan without the gata.

    Sep 2, 2009 | 6:22 pm

  14. psychomom says:

    hello MM, i have been a “lurker” at your website for some time now (must have read archives over and over again)and have always enjoyed your posts and reading other people’s posts. i decided it was high time to “take the risk” and sign up. loved reading about your cooking and baking experiments. keep up the good work!!!!

    Sep 2, 2009 | 8:07 pm

  15. edel says:

    cooked the same thing earlier except that i used siling labuyo and butter instead of oil– yum!

    Sep 2, 2009 | 8:09 pm

  16. dishesandplaces says:

    i have a question. is there a taste value gained by leaving the shells on? usually kasi, when cooking shrimps not steamed (strange english), my instinct is to shell them. do you think i’m losing something that way?

    Sep 2, 2009 | 8:13 pm

  17. zena says:

    I was just thinking that hot white rice is the best to go with this. No fried rice to compete with the yummy flavor of the sauce and shrimp. Haay, with a bottle of cold diet sprite! And I’m not even a soda drinker. Kamayan na kasi kailangan balatan ang hipon and licking one’s fingers to get all the sauce. =)

    Sep 2, 2009 | 8:28 pm

  18. Vicky Go says:

    @ dishesandplaces: I think leaving the shells on helps keep the shrimp from over-cooking. If the shrimp is very fresh with heads on, the heads add a lot of extra flavor. And I think part of the fun of eating crustaceans is the peeling, picking & sucking of heads & shells – lobsters, crawfish, crabs, shrimp, prawns, etc. But my kids prefer headless & shelled shrimp or they won’t eat them – forget about whole crabs, they like crabmeat as in crab cakes which I myself don’t like to eat.

    Sep 2, 2009 | 9:54 pm

  19. Alisa says:

    That is delicious! I’m so hungry just looking at that, and I see you have removed the shrimp heads. Looks like the wok is getting a nice patina already.

    Sep 2, 2009 | 9:59 pm

  20. paolo says:

    you took out the heads for broth MarketMan? it would have been more fun eating them with the heads on hehe!
    anyway nice to see you enjoying ur wok. i wish i had one too hehe

    Sep 2, 2009 | 10:23 pm

  21. ebh says:

    Hi MM,

    Thanks to you…. just ordered my first wok :) and I’m so excited because just received the confirmation see below.

    Not up to par but will certainly try to follow your lead. You inspire me. :) Thanks.

    Delivery estimate: September 8, 2009 – September 11, 2009
    Shipping estimate for these items: September 2, 2009 – September 3, 2009
    1 “16 inch Carbon Steel Pow Wok (hand hammered)”
    Kitchen; $24.95

    Sold by: The Wok Shop
    1 “7” Cleaning Whisk – Sold by: The Wok Shop”
    Kitchen; $2.50

    Sold by: The Wok Shop
    1 “14” Wok Chuan (Spatula) – Sold by: The Wok Shop”
    Kitchen; $4.95

    Sold by: The Wok Shop

    Sep 3, 2009 | 12:52 am

  22. betty q. says:

    Wow, Doc…Maraming Salamt for sharing your Prawn/Shrimp recipe. I am a gata person though I am not from Bicol! Anything that would simulate gata taste , I am all for it! So back to the market for me later to make that for supper!

    MM…BTW…mwahahahaha!!! about being sequestered! I don’t have any vice like smoking, don’t even drink, etc…use only wine for cooking. Hubby has to force me to drink 1/4 cup red wine (that’s all I can tolerate and it has to be Pinot NOir!)for my heart each night! So, visiting your site is shall I say my only vice! …that’s what I told him anyway. It is cheap, doesn’t cost anything! ….learn a lot and made friends!

    Sep 3, 2009 | 12:56 am

  23. ebh says:

    and oh…also ordered Jenni Fleetwood’s “400 Wok & Stir-Fry Recipes” I have to start somewhere right? :) Wish me luck MM. :)

    Sep 3, 2009 | 1:05 am

  24. betty q. says:

    HOLY!…MM!!! I have to tell you this….pasensiya those who do not like my out of topic comments! I just got a call from my sister ( the one who brought the scallops for you, MM). I just would like to warn those of yoou back home that due to hard times, people resort to violent crime such as murder! My brother-in-law’s 28 year old nephew and his girlfriend just got SHOT at point blank yesterday. The person who orchestrated this whole scenario is the newly hired household help (recommended by a trustd friend, I gather)…FEMALE! It initally started as a break and enter…then escalated to murder at point blank! They were supposed to head back to Vancouver in a matter of days!

    So, nowadays, I guess you cannot even trust people who you hire!

    Sep 3, 2009 | 1:10 am

  25. netoy says:

    to betty q – my condolence to you and your family… truly, the economic hard times that we are facing now bring the crime rate to an unprecedented high. let us all just be wary and alert to everything that is happening around us…..

    Sep 3, 2009 | 1:53 am

  26. alilay says:

    bettyq – is that alexis tiuseco and his girlfriend nika? my condolences, i read about it too.

    Sep 3, 2009 | 2:30 am

  27. bebot says:

    I am sorry to read about this tragic incident, my condolences to you and your family. Too young too soon.

    Sep 3, 2009 | 3:14 am

  28. bebot says:

    Hi Mr MM
    Tried your recipe, so delicious. I do not have prawns so I use shrimp heads on, sauteed garlic with butter, add a dash of pepper, dash of salt, and lots of sambal olek, I think I ate half a pot of rice :) Fasting the next day for me :( Thank you for sharing.

    Sep 3, 2009 | 3:18 am

  29. Quillene says:

    Thanks MM for the clarification.

    Do you season cast iron utensils this way too?

    Betty Q, condolence to your bro-in-law’s family. I wonder if that is the same couple (film critics) in that break-in in Times Street.

    I hope the culprits never get out of jail.

    Sep 3, 2009 | 8:46 am

  30. joyce says:

    condolence betty q. read about the incident online yesterday. and he was doing a lot for filipino cinema i hear.

    mm- the shrimps looks so yummy.

    Sep 3, 2009 | 9:30 am

  31. san says:

    BettyQ…so sad to hear about the shootings…my thoughts and prayers for your family. San

    Sep 3, 2009 | 11:28 am

  32. Fards says:

    bettyq: condolence to you and your family. so sad for a young man with a bright future.

    MM, you really put your wok to good use. Don’t have to deep fry all the time, no? Love stir fried foods, yummy and crunchy. Too bad I don’t have a good wok like yours.

    Sep 3, 2009 | 11:34 am

  33. dishesandplaces says:

    @vickygo – thanks! :) and i’m with you with the crab. in the shell or nothing hehe

    Sep 3, 2009 | 1:20 pm

  34. psychomom says:

    condolences bettyq. was saddened to hear the news.

    Sep 3, 2009 | 10:54 pm

  35. sheena says:

    oh!!! i super love shrimps!

    Sep 4, 2009 | 3:13 pm

  36. teny says:

    Connie C,

    Sometimes I use royal true orange.

    what chilli and garlic sauce did you use?

    Sep 7, 2009 | 8:14 am

  37. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Bettyq,so sad to hear that… they were related to you pala..I have been out of touch due to internet problems a home…condolences…..

    Sep 11, 2009 | 9:33 pm

  38. anna says:

    Hi, I saw this while browsing your site and immediately tried it at home. It was a hit with my family! Thanks so much for this super easy recipe. I’m sure I’ll be making this again and again.

    Sep 27, 2009 | 9:35 am


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