Deveining optional

17 11 2009

White freshwater shrimps!

WHAT IS one to do with a kilogram of white freshwater shrimps so fresh they were practically jumping from the wet market counter to the shopping bag?  Armed with a very sharp paring knife, I attempted to begin deveining each decapod crustacean.  But the translucent body revealed an almost clear vein (technically, the creature’s digestive tract) that I reconsidered making the shallow cuts necessary to reveal the said vein.  Besides, the dish I had in mind didn’t require this procedure.

All that orange you see is the shrimp roe. Yum!

Shrimp sinigang is yet another variation of the Filipino sinigang, a soup of meat, fowl or seafood with a sour broth and lots of fresh vegetables.  A wide range of souring agents can be used, with tamarind pulp – made from boiling, mashing, then straining the fruit – being the most popular.  Readily available broth powder or cubes instill a spirit of modernity and convenience into this classic Filipino viand.  But for shrimp, I actually prefer kamias or bilimbi. 

I could keep this dish all to myself. Perfect with lots of steamed white rice!

For the one I made over the weekend, I brought a pot of water to a boil.  To it I added quartered tomatoes and onions.  Once these became tender (or soft), I mashed a few of the tomatoes into the soup and then I added a packet of sinigang mix.  Next, I added slices of daikon radish and string beans cut into two-inch pieces.  I allowed for these to simmer for about three minutes before adding the shrimps and swamp cabbage tops (“kangkong”).  Once back to a rolling boil, I checked the seasoning then turned off the fire.

It would be a sin to not have lots of steamed white rice with this!


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