by Ernest Reynoso Gala
1/2 kilo shrimp or prawns with head and shell intact
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup onion
1 stalk lemongrass (white portion finely chopped)
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup lime juice (dayap)
1 cup tomato sauce
2) Heat oil in a wok. Add onions and cook 2 minutes. Add lemongrass and chili powder. Stir 2 minutes. Then add tomato sauce, sugar, salt, and limejuice. Let boil. Add shrimp or prawns. Cook two minutes more. Put on a plate with sauce.
TIP: When cooking it very important to not to overcook it because the texture becomes tough and elastic. Whether boiled or pan-fried, once the color has changed to pink and it curls slightly, it is ready, usually not exceeding more than two minutes. Adding sauce first before cooking is done to prevent the meat from overcooking and getting rubbery. Very important tip: if you want your one kilo of shrimp to be firm and deep orange in color, put them in a colander with a bowl underneath. Soak them in 1cup water mixed with 1 tsp. white “lihia” — wood lye — for 10 minutes. Drain. Cook by steaming, boiling or frying. Lihia is available in the vegetable section of markets and is used for cuchinta and pichi-pichi(sweet Filipino delicacies).