Steamed Shrimp

Sometimes the simplest dishes taste the best. sshrimpSteamed live shrimp with several dipping sauces served with piping hot steamed rice is one such dish. As some people head out to the beaches on summer outings or home to the provinces for a holiday, I have tried to think of some dishes that can be prepared with reef fresh seafood, with minimal fuss and maximum flavor impact. Instead of carting instant noodles and adobo with rice made the day before to the beach, bring no cooked food and instead hit the local markets early to see what the boats have brought in.

Last weekend, at a Batangas market, sshrimp2one of the vendors had the freshest looking live shrimp I have seen in a while. They were so lively she had trouble keeping them in her palanggana (flat laundry pail) and they kept jumping out. About 1 ½ inches long, they were just the right size for steaming. I bought a kilo for PHP350 and took them home in a cooler. Rinse them in cool water, snip off their “horns” (sharp thing protruding from their heads) and their “whiskers”. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to cook; mine stayed there for three hours and over 60% of the shrimp were still very much alive when I finally threw them into the steamer. To cook, boil water in a steamer and when super hot, throw the shrimp into the steamer tray and cook for just minutes until the shrimp turn pink. Do not overcook as they will get tough. Slight undercooking is better than overcooked. Place cooked shrimp in a bowl and serve with rice. If you do not have a steamer, you can throw these into boiling water with salt added and cook until just pink as well.

I like to serve these shrimp with at least 3 sauces. First, a Kikkoman or similar light soy sauce with sesame seed oil. Second, a Thai or local patis (fish sauce) with lime or kalamansi and chopped wansoy (coriander). And third, a local artisanal cane vinegar with chopped chillis. This should serve 6-8 if there are other dishes served with the shrimp. The shrimp were so fresh they were actually sweet! Peeling and eating with your hands is a must!


7 Responses

  1. Steamed shrimps’ my #1 all time fave food. I can eat platefulls of this dish. My Mom would also cook live shrimps in a wok with a little oil, add salt and voila! Just too yummy for words. Have to cook one for myself today. The write-up made me crave for it. Thanks marketman!

  2. Peeling and eating with your hands is a must! this line!!!
    We were once in Genoa and I have a cousin who joined us freom the Philippines who is well mannered -raised properly ;-) that she was using fork and knife on crab and shimps.
    I am having an awakening… years of allergy on and off with shrimps..but since coming here in Oslo I dont itch anymore
    Its really like OH MY GOD! Hard to describe my feeling…

    try garlic butter sauce sauted with spring onions…

  3. My late father, a Tagalog, used what he called sibuyas tagalog (what is it in English?) with good nipa vinegar and plenty of chili. Yumyum!

  4. Hi guys. Theres another dipping sauce which i always enjoy preparing whenever my family is having steamed live shrimps(suahe) on sundays. Heat 1 1/2 canola oil in a wok. Once you see smoke rising from the wok(really really hot), pour the super heated oil in a small bowl with 2 tbsp chopped garlic in it. Add half cup of good soy sauce and put a few wansoy leaves and chopped sili.I prefer using light superior soy sauce which i normally buy at this chinese vegetable dealer at Farmers market in Cubao for P60. Pouring just a bit of sesame oil on the shrimps while it is still hot will brighten up the taste and appearance as well! Happy eating!!!:)

  5. Bugsybee I love nipa vinegar! Allan that sauce sounds great… will try it the next time I have shrimp! Schatzli, fingers definitely a must!

  6. another sawsawan option( orig:obando,Bulacan): boil tomatoes in water until skin begins to peel off. lamutakin with a few sprigs of cilantro/ wansoy. add small amt of patis or salt to taste. end product consistecy,salsa like. scoop tomato mixture with your suwahe.



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