Halabos na Hipon

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Happy Easter! So busy with giving a fresh new look to our HS class website (using Mambo) that I forgot I have a food blog. So here is a quick one. I’ve realized that I always cook prawns or shrimps with butter for the past years that I forgot how simple cooking shrimps can be like halabos na hipon (shrimps cooked w/ salt and from its own juice – no water at all).

As I planned to cook shrimps without vegetables, I prepared potatoes and carrots and steamed them together with the rice. How this is done? Peel the vegetables. Leave the carrot as it is but slice the potatoes thinly. Place the peeled vegetables on top of the rice and cook accordingly.

1/2 kilo of shrimps (or prawns)
1 tbsp of minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
salt & pepper

Cut the shrimps’ antennae. Cut along the shrimp back just deep enough to expose the vein. Remove the vein by lifting one end and zipping it off. Rinse well. (Of course, if you don’t have time just wash the shrimps and proceed to cooking.)

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan over high heat. Cover and let the shrimps boil and get cooked from its own juice, stirring once in a while. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Pour about 5 tbsp of cooking oil and saute for 2 minutes. Serve with the steamed vegetables.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

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