For many Filipinos, Good Friday means cooking the staples of their Lenten family traditions. But for most Catholics, the day of abstinence can be quite a challenge.
In observance of Holy Week, I am sharing some recipes that my students immensely enjoyed at our meatless cooking class. These recipes are not just easy to do but delicious, too.
I wish you a meaningful and grace-filled Lenten observance.
Garlic Steamed Fish
1 k lapu-lapu, scaled and gutted
¼ c Imeldifique Wine or any rice wine
¼ c garlic, pounded
3 tbsp basi or rum
¼ c light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp Knorr Seasoning
3 thin slices of ginger, shredded fine
2 tbsp fried garlic
Spring onions, sliced into two-inch lengths
2 tbsp oil
Wipe fish dry.
Score both sides of the fish.
Put fish on a plate for steaming. Spread pounded garlic over fish and top with shredded ginger.
Put together Imeldifique or rice wine, basi, light soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable oil, sugar, Knorr Seasoning in a bowl.
Mix well. Pour mixture over fish. Leave to marinate for 15-20 minutes. Once in a while, spoon the marinade over the fish.
Steam fish for 30 minutes.
Garnish fish with fried garlic, spring onions and coriander sprigs.
Before serving, heat 2 tbsp of oil until very hot. Drizzle the oil over the green onions and coriander.
Spoon sauce over the fish and serve immediately.
To steam fish, fill the water pan to ¾ full with water.
Bring water to a boil.
Allow water to boil rapidly over high heat for 7-10 minutes before putting the fish.
Sweet Buttered Shrimps
1.5 k large white shrimps or sugpito, cleaned, unpeeled.
½ c Sprite or Seven-Up
½ c Manille Kalamansi* Liquor
2 tbsp calamansi juice
2 tbsp sugar
*Substitute vodka for Manille if you wish but increase calamansi juice and sugar to 3 tbsp each.
½ c Magnolia butter
1/3 c pounded garlic
2 chilies, sliced; adjust to taste
3 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp Knorr Seasoning
¼ c coriander, coarsely chopped with stems
2-3 tbsp sugar, adjust according to taste
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper or to taste
Marinate the shrimps in Sprite, Manille, calamansi juice and sugar for 15 minutes.
Heat butter in a wok.
Add in the garlic and chilies. Cook a while to develop flavor. Do not burn the garlic.
Add in oyster sauce, Knorr seasoning, coriander, sugar. Add in shrimps with the marinade and cook until it changes color.
Add in cornstarch, salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with chilies and coriander.
Chili Crab Noodles
Of the recipes, this is the most tedious, only because you have to make a spice paste. The result, however, is very satisfying. The flavor of the noodles is worth the effort.
For spice paste:
8 shallots, peeled
9 cloves garlic, peeled
4 slices ginger
4 slices galangal
4 pcs dried chilies, soaked in water
4 pcs macadamia nuts
2 tsp Thai shrimp paste
1 tbsp taucheo-salted yellow beans
3 large crabs, ½ k each
5 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ – 1/3 c tamarind water (extracted from ½ c unsweetened ripe tamarind pulp/paste soaked in 1 c hot water; squeeze to extract pulp, strain and measure). Small bottles of tamarind water are also available at the Asian section of leading grocery stores.
3 pcs bruised lemongrass hearts
½ c Heinz tomato catsup
¼ c hoisin sauce
3 tbsp fish sauce
¼ c sweet chili sauce
¼ – 1/3 c white sugar
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 fresh red chilies
2 c chicken stock
A handful of sliced leeks, white part and a handful of sliced leeks, green part
1 pack of 500 g dried egg noodles, cooked al dente and tossed in oil
Clean crabs, cut into serving pieces. Crack claws.
Make spice paste: In a mortar and pestle, pound shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, chili, shrimp paste and salted yellow beans into paste.
Fry spice paste in a wok with 1/3 cup oil until fragrant.
Add in tamarind water, lemongrass, catsup, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, sugar, oyster sauce and fresh chilies.
Cook for 10 minutes.
Add in stock. Once the stock boils, add in the crabs.
Cook until crabs are done. Simmer slowly to develop flavor.
Line a serving bowl with cooked egg noodles. Top noodles with crabs.
Season the sauce with salt, pepper, chilies, tamarind water and sugar to taste.
Add in leeks and cilantro. Pour the sauce over crabs.
Garnish with more cilantro and green onions.
Imeldifique, Basi and Manille Kalamansi are products of Destileria Limtuaco, available at Crossings, Unimart, Cash & Carry, Makati Supermarket, Robinsons Supermarket, Landmark.