While you are hailing the joys of summer with a papaya shake, I am still in the throes of winter. It’s snowing again after several glorious days of spring-like weather. So I’m making hot and spicy shrimp sinigang with chicharon (pork rinds) to ward off the chills. I especially love this when the shrimp heads are fatty and the soup becomes almost creamy.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 pound shrimp
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 small white onion, sliced
- 2 inches of ginger, peeled and crushed
- 3 small fresh tomatoes, quartered
- 1 small heart of romaine lettuce, stalk cut off
- 1 small bag of chicharon
- 4 cups of water
- 1-2 tbsp of Knorr tamarind soup mix
- 5 pieces siling labuyo (Philippine chilies), sliced
- salt and pepper, optional
Put oil in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Sauté garlic until golden brown, add onion and cook until translucent. Stir in the crushed ginger. Cook for about a minute or two, then toss in the tomatoes. Let the tomatoes soften, about 3-5 minutes, then add the shrimp and wait until they start to turn pink.
Pour 4 cups of water in the pan, cover and let it boil. Add the tamarind soup mix. Start with a tablespoon of the mix. Add more, depending on your taste. Toss in the chilies and a handful of pork rinds. You want more heat, add more chilies. You want more chicharon, toss in some more. This part is all up to you (I like A LOT of chicharon with this soup). Turn up the heat a little and when the soup is boiling, add the romaine lettuce and cover for a minute or two until the leaves soften. Do a final taste check. You can add salt and pepper, if you like. Ladle into small bowls and serve.
I prefer the dense chicharon for this recipe, not the airy (bula) kind. Also, you can use whatever leafy greens you have handy. Mustard greens or kang-kong work for this recipe.