We are going home to Quezon to celebrate nanay’s birthday, Samsy’s birthday and Samsy’s Christening and I am planning the menu for the 4-day vacation. It’s a bit tricky as I can’t exactly do anything with beef or pork because it’s holy week. We’d surely be reprimanded by tatay as they still pretty much abstain from meat during lent. So, I made a list of Lenten delights. Yay!
1 – shrimp/prawn
You can simply steam it and pair it with either patis and calamansi, suka and bawang or lemon butter. Gambas is always a win because of the garlic and the chili. You can eat it with rice but serving it with rolls or pita bread will also be nice. Sinigang na hipon is just so refreshing in summer because it’s sour and because it has a lot of vegetables. There are a number of salads you can whip up such as one with mango mustard dressing and red capsicum. Another one is the Vietnamese spring roll that is not exactly a salad but you can experiment with its ingredients. Caesar can also be complemented with shrimps/prawns instead of bacon. Grilling Shrimp is always good because of its natural ocean flavor. Grill it with capsicums, onions, pineapples or use marinades to make it more Italian, Mediterranean, Thai and etc.
2 – squid/cuttlefish
(calamares/adobong pusit sa gata/pajeon/ihaw/curry)
Calamares may be a little bit complicated because the batter has to be perfect for the coating not to crumble. I still struggle with that but if you can pull it off, it’s something that almost everyone would love. Prepare wonderful dips with it too! Adobong pusit is a classic so I don’t think I’d expound on that. Pajeon (Korean pancake) is apparently made with those pancake mixes. The only difference is that you stir in leeks/green onions and seafood like squid. It’s a new and flavorful snack that can be dipped into vinegar and soy sauce dips. You can grill squids as is or stuff it with onions, tomatoes and ginger. Don’t forget to prepare dips for that and chili too! Curry is something that blends well with seafood. It’s not only for squid but also for mussels, clams, prawns and fish.
3 – mussels/clams/oysters/crabs/lobster
(baked/tahong soup/marinara/seafood paella/dwen jang)
If you have moolah go for crabs and lobster but mussels and clams will do. Anyway, baked seafood topped with garlic and melted cheese is a best seller so make sure you prepare enough for all even if it is just for appetizers. The classic mussels and clam soup with malunggay is very healthy but not everyone would enjoy it especially if it is a little bitter. Marinara can be a combination of mussels, clams and oysters. Fish, squid and shrimp can also be put into use for a flavorful seafood pasta. If you know how to whip up the traditional paella, skip some ingredients and prepare it minus the meats. Dwen Jang, a spicy Korean soup made with fermented bean paste and clams, is an acquired taste but people who are a little bit more adventurous will certainly love it once they have adjusted to it.
Ah! I think that’s enough for now. This simply means that I will have a separate post for the fish recipes that you can consider for Lent. Wish me luck and Cheers!