Prawns in “Alavar” Sauce


My post on curacha a few days back lead me to Joey’s post on the creature and the recipe she cooked did some “Alavar” sauce… Marketman & family received a large package of Alavar sauce from a friend several months back and this is what we used it for… prawns in Alavar. Alavar, I gather, is a famous seafood restaurant from Zamboanga and later Cebu, and now Manila. We have never eaten at Alavar’s though we have heard about it several times. The famous sauce lists as its ingredients “Coconut Milk and Spices.” Obviously, it is a secret concoction, but my best guess is that it kind of approximates a curry sauce, possibly thickened with aligue from the oodles and oodles of crustaceans they serve at their restaurants. It is a bit on the sweet side for me, so we added some sauteed aromatics and chilies to the sauce before adding the prawns…


Heat up a large pan and add a little vegetable oil and when it it hot, add some minced ginger (we used 2 tablespoons) and saute until frangrant. And a minced onion, medium size, then several cloves of garlic minced, some chopped siling mahaba or labuyo (if you want it spicy!) then a whole package of Alavar sauce. Add about a kilo or more of prawns and simmer until cooked. Serve with lots of rice and keep your cholesterol pills close by… Yum!


26 Responses

  1. Yummy indeed! I’ll have this for dinner tonite.

    MM, could you please check on the pan de sal blog once again, I posted some findings which you may find helpful in your search for the century old version. Thanks.

  2. Where can I get Alavar sauce here in Manila? Can I just use a bottle of Claude Tayag’s taba ng talangka? hehehe

  3. Alavar’s sauce goes well with crabs, with prawns, and shrimps – generally anything crustacean / shellfish will go well with it. I’m not a native of Zamboanga – more of an “adoptive daughter” recently – but have been based here for nearly a year. My mom-in-law has tried to replicate the sauce, I’ll try to see if I can get a recipe from her to share with you :)

    p.s. I stumbled on to your blogsite just recently, and enjoy reading it – I was inspired to try chili con carne – and added some dark choco tablea to kick up the spices in it. My hubby enjoyed this comfort food :) Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  4. Indeed the Alavar Sauce is quite sweet. So my guess is that it is part curry, part aligue and a lot of sugar.

  5. Many years ago, there was an Alavar in Makati, on Jupiter St. I think. That’s where I got to try the curacha in their secret sauce. I hear that there’s still a branch in Quezon City, but not sure where. I should make the trip, your posts have awakened delicious memories!

  6. Looks so yummy. If anyone finds out where to get Alavar sauce please let us know. I’m dying to try this.

  7. I bring back a few bags of Alavar sauce everytime I visit Zamboanga. I can’t find it in Manila, so it’s worth packing a box with other goodies from the south. I sure hope it’s mangosteen season when I go back there soon.

  8. Alavar sauce or Alavar bagoong were always the emergency rice topper for when I didn’t know what to do for dinner. I just came back from Zamboanga and brought back 3Kg of the sauce on a 30 hour trip with some pomelos, mangoes, sea salt and sardines. I was so worried at customs but they were A-OK with all of the stuff, so…

  9. My hubby and I were newly married when we first tasted curacha at the Alavar restaurant in West Ave.QC.(it has closed since then but dont know if it has reopened a new branch here in Manila)I remember that day well since we’ve wiped out the alavar sauce served with the curacha and kept asking for more.We were burping from the feast and then my hubby asked what the yummy sauce was—you bet–aligue!I think that was one of the most cholesterol laden meal we’ve eaten but it was really delicious!

  10. Yum! I love Alavar sauce but I still add aromatics like garlice/onion/ginger/chili when cooking, just as you did here :)

  11. i think alavar sauce has squash in it as well as spices..
    i read about it somewhere but i can’t quite recall where..

  12. The new Alavar Restaurant is along Scout Ybardolaza in Q.C. If you are on Timog
    Avenue coming from EDSA and going towards Tomas Morato, Sct Ybardolaza is the street where there is a Shell Station on your left. Turn left and Alavar will be on your right side, just a little beyond the corner.

    This is where I buy my supply of Alavar sauce and bagoong.

  13. Weren’t they famous in the 90’s before? I remember when i was a kid, they have a restaurant at West Ave. in Quezon City.

    Nice, thanks for pointing that out! Glad to see they still have a branch here at Quezon City.

  14. i am zamboangueña. families here have their own version of the “alavar’s sauce”. but most of those same families don’t bother and just go buy a bottle of the sauce — kuti kaayo. but you should try their bagoong gata. it’s on the sweetish side, so don’t say i didn’t warn you, but it is VEDY, VEDY addictive.

  15. just ate at Alavar’s Cebu last Saturday.. food tastes yummy especially the sauce =D

    we also love the crispy shrimps and the grilled pork belly

  16. I got addicted with SHRIMPS IN ALAVAR SAUCE in the nearby resto from where I work (Dulce Manos, Juan Luna St., Davao City). They serve it for P80. Guess what, the number of shrimps are only 3… I nearly get mad when I saw them very small. But the sight of the sauce made me forget my frustration. I was surfing the net to find out the recipe of the sauce, but I couldn’t find one. I got stumbled here.

  17. Hi! My wife is a supplier of Alavar Sauce here in manila.
    for those who want to order Alavar Sauce, contact us at 09172786917 or email me at

    Also available:
    Garlic Sauce
    Alavar Bagoong “alamang”
    Special Chili Sauce.

  18. My apologies to the owner of Alavar restaurant, i will now stop supplying Alavar sauce, Bagoong Gata, and Garlic sauce. I did not realize that there is an intelectual property rights for the said products. Again, i apologize and will promise that i will stop producing Alavar products.

  19. Alavar sauce reminds me of Don Don Alavar – we had a dinner dinner in their restaurant in West Avenue Q.C.

  20. guyssss,try ninyo ang prawns or crab with alavar souce,grabe ang sarap.natikman ko siya sa alavar restaurant sa zamboanga,panalo ang lasa at saka ang alavar shake.nakakagutom tuloy



Subscribe To Updates

No spam, only notifications about new blog posts.