Rock Lobster!

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It was around 3pm and funny how the sun rays were almost parallel to the ground and hit the crayfish plate on the kitchen bar from the living room glazing. Yeah, I know. It looks like a villain from a sci-fi alien movie.

Like shrimp heads, crayfish head is really yummy. Especially when this big. My friends E&T gave me 3 foot-long crayfish heads and this is my first time to cook this mean-looking freshwater crustaceans also known as rock lobsters. I followed my instinct and thought about halabos na hipon.

Crayfish heads
Salt & pepper

Wash crayfish heads and arrange in a large but shallow pot. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over and within and leave for about 30 minutes.

Cover and cook over low heat. Let the crayfish cook from the steam of its own juice for about 12 to15 minutes. Remember not to overcook. When the meat turns opaque, remove from heat and serve immediately.


Don’t be shy and indulge. Scoop out the fat from inside the head with a spoon or your pinkie. Simply yum!

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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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