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The signature aspect of this traditional Phillippine stew is its pleasing sourness, which comes from the addition of tamarind and lime juice.

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 8 lengthwise wedges
  • 12 small daikon radish, peeled and cut crosswise into 1⁄2″ slices
  • 3 Tbsp. Tamarind Extract
  • 34 lb. heads-on medium shrimp, unpeeled
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored and cut into 4 wedges each
  • 1 hot banana pepper, halved lengthwise
  • Leaves from 1 head Shanghai bok choy, halved lengthwise
  • 14 cup fresh lime juice
  • 14 cup patis (Philippine fish sauce), preferably Rufina brand

Instructions

  1. Put rice into a bowl. Cover with cold water by 2″; stir until cloudy. Let rice drain in a sieve; return to bowl. Cover again with water by 2″; stir until cloudy. Measure out 5 cups rice water; set aside. Drain rice. Put rice, 2 1⁄2 cups clean water, and salt into a medium pot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice. Cover to keep warm.
  2. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, 2–3 minutes. Stir in rice water, daikon, and tamarind extract; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until daikon is tender, 8–10 minutes. Add shrimp, tomatoes, pepper, and bok choy and reduce heat to medium; simmer until shrimp are cooked, about 5 minutes more. Stir in lime and patis; season with salt. Serve with the rice.

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