I spent my Holy Week at my best friend Larry’s house in Malabon, pretty much my second home since I moved out of the town. The Cayco residence is fortunate for having Aling Trining, Trinidad, or nanay as we fondly call her. She is actually Larry’s grandmother, and like my own lola, she also does magical things in the kitchen. The next three recipes that will be featured on this site will be by her.
Malabon and its neighboring city, Navotas, are known for its abundant fresh seafood. Since the historical times, the seafood and fish industries are still very much alive. Not to mention, small scale industries that produce the best quality fish sauce (patis), vinegar, and shrimp paste (bagoong) — some of the key ingredients of the many dishes that the sister cities are known for.
Since it was Holy Week, Larry’s nanay prepared this very quick and simple seafood dish. Halabos na Hipon is shrimp cooked in its own broth. The size of the shrimps depends on you. Of course, the bigger the size, the more expensive they are. Smaller shrimps are, in a way, preferred because the head is usually consumed too. Not one part of the shrimp is wasted. This is because removing the shell and the head will just leave you a tiny piece of meat. But then again, some people (like Larry) prefers a headless shrimp so it’s up to you if you want it removed or not. Just don’t forget to dip it in vinegar with ginger for some added zest.
Photo below was taken by Larry.