Tiny Surpise “Ginisang Alamang (Sauteed Krill)”
We love shrimps and there are so many ways to cook it. Grilled, battered, tempura, soup dishes, sauteed and the list goes on and on. Here in our country there is a species that a lot of us loves. This type of shrimp can be found in almost all wet markets in our country. Come with me again today at our local wet market and I will share with you a very simple dish the is close to the hearts of the Filipinos.
Ginisang Alamang (Sauteed Krill)
I have been thinking about sharing this dish that I have grown to love. In our country money is not easy and people learned to make the most of what they could provide for the family. Food is a necessity and with cheap and simple ingredients we try to make a tasty meal for the family. From the struggle gave birth to recipes made from scraps, cheap fish including krill. Some of you may not know what a “Krill” is. To the sound of it some of you might think this is some sort of an alien species. Krill is actually a very small shrimp and is abundant here in the Philippines.
Let’s go around the market and see if we could buy some Krill for our recipe today. Although there are days when it is not available for sale, most often you could see them sold around the market. Today there are a lot being sold and you could see them in piles.
The Krill is very useful and it is also made into fermented shrimp paste. The ones in small plastic bags are already fermented, but it is best to have them cooked. Those on the right are guavas which are used for cooking Sinigang which is a sour soup dish.
This is the stall where my wife decided to buy from. I always let my wife do the price haggling as she is very good with it. A very useful skill to get the best price possible.
We bought half a kilo that cost us 40 pesos if converted to USD it’s around $.76. The amount would be enough for 4-5 people but still depends on your appetite.
To add to our meal as a side dish let’s buy some green mangoes. Green mangoes are best eaten with fermented shrimp paste. The saltiness of the shrimp paste counters the sourness of the unripe mangoes.
These are cooked shrimp paste also made from Krill. We don’t buy from the market as my aunt makes her own. A recipe and process that has been inherited. She makes a lot and just stores them in the refrigerator. It could last for months. One of these days, I’ll try to ask her to prepare one for us and I’ll do my best to have it documented.
We would need some vegetables for our dish like these eggplants. There are a few left of the purple eggplants, but we would just need two pieces.
All these fresh vegetables makes you want to cook more food. Water spinach, bitter gourd, bok choy, okra and probably they would have everything you need here. Vegetable lovers would have a grand time here.
Another thing that we need is Kinchay also known as Chinese celery. It looks like parsley, but is very different with the scent and taste. It is very aromatic and is often used in fish soup dishes.
Here we are back home with all the ingredients ready. We just need to wash the Krill thoroughly and chop up the vegetables then we are ready.
The eggplant that we bought is not the best but it should do.
The green mangoes is not an ingredient but would serve as a side dish. Here in our country mango is a popular side dish during meals and excursions. I always wanted to have a mango tree, good as a shade and gives a lot of fruit during season.
Let’s talk about the Krill, well it is very affordable and delicious. I have a friend from office who lived near the ocean and he told me stories how they used to struggle for food. What they would do is wait for fishermen to dock and they simply ask if they could spare them some fish. They would be given fish and Krill, this would feed them for a day. Hearing these kinds of stories is hope for humanity, helping people who has hit bottom. Given them a helping hand when in need.
Let’s attach the extension tube to get some macro shots. I know you would like to have a closer look. This is how those tiny shrimps looks like up close.
Almost transparent with thin film like shells. When you buy them sometimes other creatures gets in with the mix like small fish, crabs and shells. At night by the sea I was told that they glow when the moon is high but something I have not seen yet.
Here are the vegetables all sliced up and chopped. It is best to have the eggplants sliced diagonally so you could have nice long pieces.
The onions and garlic you could just chop them up anyway you want in small pieces.
For the kinchay or Chinese celery just chop them about an inch. Should be no problem if you cut them a bit smaller, but not over chopping them almost into a paste.
Well, have been seeing the sun shining bright now these days. I figured we could go out again and do our cooking outside. Time to fire up the left over fruit crates that we got from the market months ago. They actually lasted very long even though we cooked a lot of meals already. It’s a good idea to stock up those used crates from the market.
We have smaller stainless steel pan that my grandfather made. I say it is even older than me but still in a very good shape. It has a very smooth surface and was skillfully made compared to his earlier works.
Pour in some vegetable oil once the pan is hot. Any oil would do, whatever you prefer it would turn out good.
As always drop in the chopped garlic first.
Followed by the chopped onion.
Saute until the onions turns a bit translucent or if the garlic turns a bit light brown.
After that you could put in the Krill. Make sure use strain the water out of it before pouring in. Those tiny shrimps tends to absorb water.
Next would be the eggplant. See how I captured that falling piece there in mid air.
Put in a dash of rock salt and for this dish we won’t be putting in some ground pepper. It is up to you if you want to, but this is how our recipe is done. It’s always a good thing to try other spices though. Exploring in cooking brings discovery.
Mix everything well, turning over so the bottom part would not burn. Be a bit gentle though as the Krill breaks easily and we would not want them all mushed up.
We will cover it for like three to five minutes. A good way to dry up the moisture faster.
After that you could drop in the chopped kinchay. It adds a aromatic flavor to the dish. When I was a kid I did not like the smell of it, I thought it made me dizzy, but as I grew up it actually smelled nice.
Just give it a couple more turns and check if the eggplants are already cooked. One way of checking if the fleshy inside of the eggplant is still hard, you need to cook it some more. This looks almost done.
Finally, our dish is ready. I’ll be cutting off some banana leaves and let’s eat the native way.
Here we are Ginisang Alamang, sliced mangoes with bagoong and newly cooked white rice. I saved some leaves of the Chinese celery as a garnish.
Perfectly cooked and I am getting hungry already.
Sliced green mangoes with bagoong which is the fermented Krill. Salty and perfect with the sour mango.
The eggplants is cooked very well it is best eaten with the bagoong.
Bon appetite! A traditional Filipino dish prepared by yours truly. A dish that is very easy to prepare, but would definitely satisfy your belly. If you really want to eat the traditional way, eat with your hands.
Thanks for joining me in our cooking adventure. Looking forward to share more of our food culture, maybe a change of venue would be nice one of these days.
What do you think? Leave some comments and let’s talk more about food especially seafood.
Thanks again and hope to see you around.
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All photos are original and taken with
Lumix GX85 and 12-32 mm