Prawns with Coconut Milk and Preserved Crab Fat (Ginataang Hipon with Gata and Taba ng Talangka)
This recipe is probably one of those “inspired from” the 15 or so Philippine cookbooks that I have. For me, coconut milk goes extremely well with the Philippine’s holy trinity of ginger, garlic and onions, sauteed and blended with a chili pepper to create a gravy base. Then I added freshly peeled prawns and spinach leaves. On top of this, I blame Shirley, who reminded me about how damn delicious Taba ng Talangka could be, so I added a few spoons of this preserved crab fat to the dish. Now tell me, who can resist this dish with a steaming bowl of rice?
500 grams fresh prawns, peeled
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small knob of peeled ginger, sliced, around 30 grams
1 red chili, seeds removed, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
200 ml coconut milk
2 tablespoons, taba ng talangka (crab fat) – available from Filipino/Asian groceries(optional)
Handful of spinach leaves
Heat the oil and add the onion, fry until translucent, around 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, ginger and red chili and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes and then process in a food processor.
Once done, fry the paste for a few minutes and add the fish sauce and coconut milk.
Allow to simmer for around 15 minutes then add the crab fat.
Add the prawns and cook for around 2 to 3 minutes and then add the spinach leaves and cook until wilted.
Serve over steamed rice, top with some more taba ng talangka (crab roe).