The kickoff event for Sustainable Seafood Week held recently was a showcase of the freshest bounty from the oceans.
With the participation of leading hotels and restaurants, it transformed Manila Marriott Hotel’s grand ballroom into a veritable wonderland of seafood dishes.
There was Marco Polo Ortigas’ gargantuan paella, Spanish rice enriched with mouthwatering shrimp, squid, mussels and clams. Hyatt City of Dreams served a stylized Tuna Niçoise with pickled fruits and vegetables, while Discovery Leisure’s Texas Shrimp Straw Hats combined shrimps with nacho chips served with spicy salsa and sour cream.
There was also baby squid with a filling of laing black rice risotto from Edsa Shangri-La, while Sofitel Philippine Plaza had potatoes gnocchi sautéed with seafood and cherry tomatoes.
Perhaps because Manila Marriott was the host, it had a most dramatic presentation: a mountain of pinkish Selva shrimps curled on crushed ice, served with a variety of sauces that included pesto, chili and tomato horseradish dip. Lined up with the sauces were salad greens in Mason jars and an assortment of dressings.
The Sustainable Seafood Movement aims to raise awareness and promote responsible business practices and sourcing of seafood. It advocates ethical fishing practices and the use of seafood that has been responsibly raised and caught.
Elva Shrimp, for instance, are black tiger shrimps grown naturally in mangrove forests and raised without artificial feeds and without antibiotics.
Crystal Bay Oysters are self-sustaining, as they are able to feed on microorganisms already in the water and do not require harmful chemicals or antibiotics.
With Sustainable Seafood Week in full swing on Feb. 20-26, activities were held in various hotels and restaurants to underscore the need to keep our oceans clean and marine life safe and sustainable.
Here’s a recipe for prawns on a stick, inspired by chef Chele Gonzalez’s recent cooking demonstration at the Viking showroom.
Gonzalez skewered the prawns on barbecue sticks to keep them straight, cooked them in a grill pan, then arranged them on a plate before pouring a bewitching brew of cherry gazpacho on the side.
Try to find prawns from reliable and sustainable sources.
Prawns on Skewers
½ k large prawns (16 pc)
¼ c butter
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
Peel the prawns, removing the heads and tails. Cut a shallow slit on the stomach side of the prawns to open them slightly, then straighten the prawns and insert them into barbecue skewers. The skewers will keep the prawns straight as you grill them.
Heat the butter in a small saucepan, then add the garlic. Continue heating until the butter melts.
Season the prawns with salt, then brush them with the butter and garlic mixture.
Spray a nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray, or brush the skillet lightly with cooking oil. Heat the skillet to medium. Grill the prawns in the skillet, turning frequently and brushing once or twice with the butter-garlic mixture, until the prawns turn a bright orange and are fully cooked, about one to two minutes. Serve with lemon butter sauce.
Lemon butter sauce:
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ c butter
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Heat the lemon juice in a small saucepan. Add the butter and continue heating until the butter melts. Sprinkle chopped parsley on the mixture. Serve with the prawns.