Prawns with Aligue

Ever since we got married, my mother-in-law has been randomly gifting us with little food surprises. We never know what we are going to get…it can be anything from canned corned beef (if you are Filipino, you will understand this fixation) to fresh market produce, to marinated sardines bottled by our godmother. Every time a new package arrives we excitedly inspect it to see what we have, and start making plans for how we will use it. I like to pretend I’m an Iron Chef and mum-in-law’s gift is the surprise ingredient. And the surprise ingredient for this post is…prawns!

The day the prawns arrived on our laps both C and I debated about what would be their fate. C-food lover had lots of ideas, but in the end we both turned to a bottle that he had bought from our last market outing. Now, I know my last post was nice and healthy, so I must warn those unfamiliar with my, um, bad habits, to turn away now if they are looking for something light/lite. What was in the bottle? Why, a secret ingredient of our own…aligue or taba ng talangka. In English: crab fat.

The marriage of prawns and aligue is incredible…so rich and dangerous…like seafood in the fast lane, seafood that you don’t take home to mama. I sauté the aligue in lots of garlic, and cut the fatty-ness with a lot of calamansi (a local citrus fruit). I like to keep the prawn's head on to heighten the flavor of the whole dish, and also because I like the way they look with their heads.

Prawns with Aligue
  • 500-600 grams prawns
  • 1 8-oz. bottle of aligue or taba ng talangka
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 4-6 pieces calamansi (or juice of 1 lemon)
  • Olive oil

- Heat olive oil in a pan. Sauté garlic until lightly toasted.
- Add aligue and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add calamansi or lemon and stir.
- Add prawns and cook until bright red-orange in color.

Very simple, and boy does this hit the spot…perhaps too hard for some. I served this with hot, steamed rice and kangkong (water spinach) sautéed with garlic and Sichuan peppercorns. I think it would do great with pasta too. Serve with some calamansi or lemon on the side. Don’t count calories. Enjoy!

We will be leaving for mum-in-law’s egg farm (yes, eggs, yey!) and I won’t be back until after Easter. I have planned lots of napping, reading, and grilled seafood. Can’t wait! Happy Easter!