Saturday, 16 November 2013

Spicy Coconut Prawns (Ginataang Hipon)

 This is one of my absolute, hands down, favourite Filipino dishes. Fresh prawns, poached in a spicy coconut milk sauce, served over fluffy jasmine rice - can't beat it! It's known as Ginataang Hipon in the Philippines; ginataang means to cook in coconut milk and hipon means prawns, ergo prawns cooked in coconut milk. With this dish; be prepared to get messy! You'll also need asbestos fingers to handle peeling the steaming hot prawns. Totally worth it though, I promise! When my dad would make this for us as kids, he would always tell us to suck on the prawn heads before discarding them. The thought of sucking on prawn brains used to gross me out to no end but I eventually gave it a shot and wouldn't you know? Dad was right. The broth soaks into every nook and cranny and you'll want to get to every last, delicious drop. Read on for my recipe!

 You can add a variety of different vegetables to the broth if you want to bulk it out a bit. Snake beans, Chinese greens, maybe even some pumpkin - whatever's fresh and looking good.

This is a really easy dish to put together; cooking time is less than 30 minutes and it's sure to impress! You can make a big pot for a dinner party, throw down some newspaper and let everyone go to town and get messy!

Spicy Coconut Prawns or Ginataang Hipon

Serves 6

olive oil, for sautéing
1 medium onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, julienned
1 large red chilli, thinly sliced
1 400ml can of coconut milk
1 kg whole raw king prawns, shell on
Fish sauce, to taste


  1. Heat a generous splash of olive oil in a large pot on medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli until soft and aromatic. 
  2. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until the oil in the coconut milk has begun to separate from the mixture a little.
  3. Carefully add the king prawns and stir gently. Cover and allow to steam for 5 - 10 minutes or until the prawns are gorgeous blush pink and opaque.
  4. Serve with fluffy jasmine rice and enjoy!

Over and out!

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