I recently had another of those “if you cannot buy it, cook it” days. While buttered shrimps, garlic shrimps, spicy shrimps and the like are easy, but if you happened to have dined in dampa (I’ve been only to Seaside Macapagal Boulevard), you will definitely crave for their buttered shrimps one day. But for someone like me who is miles away, I cannot go in any seafood restaurant in the UAE and request the wonderful people there to cook it “dampa syle”. The challenge(s) of living away from home is either you enhance your self-contentment for whatever edible is available and/or you learn to recreate or replicate the dishes back home – no matter what it takes.
I really appreciate the fact that the seafoods are reasonably priced in this part of the globe; probably due to generous supply considering UAE’s proximity to Arabian Gulf. While the main ingredient is very feasible, the problem is that dampa’s recipes are not published anywhere. Options left are to ask around or use the imagination (trying it most of the time). Of course, I did not get it the first time. I am not saying that they prepare it in this manner in dampa. But after trying the other possible secret ingredients, this was the closest I got. Onto my copycat buttered shrimps I just had to have the following:
a kilo of shrimps
1/2 cup of butter
6 cloves of garlic, minced
a little amount of salt
and….. 2 cups of Mirinda (that’s the orange juice-like bottle in the photo with Arabic label)
a little amount of cornstarch (optional)
In a wok, boil the shrimps, salt and soda together in medium heat for 8 minutes. Remove the shrimps from the wok. Set aside the shrimp broth (with soda). On a separate wok, saute the garlic in butter. The smell it produces is always appetizing. After 2 minutes, pour in the remains of the broth (not all) until desired consistency is achieved. Optionally, you may put the cornstarch for thickened sauce. Pour over the cooked shrimps.
Make sure your steamed rice is ready, then you’re all set and may opt to eat kamayan style (eat with hands).
A friend asked me to cook for her as she had non-Filipino colleagues that came over to their house for dinner. Her guests requested for seafood and we thought that something that will sustain the appetite over chatters should be on the table. I am really glad that they enjoyed the hearty meal and I can just imagine when she told me that her guests devoured the buttered crabs with oyster sauce ala kamayan (eating with hands). This post is in response to her and her guests’ request for the recipe… and yes, for those who might need and want to try this. Although there is a lot of recipes available out there, this was a result of one of my kitchen experiments while in the UAE which was based on craving (and a little imagination on what might work when you combine estimates of ingredients). Fortunately, it never fails to satisfy the diners.