It was Good Friday and my parents and I were discussing what to have for our final meatless-Friday-because-it’s-lent meal. My parents know that I adore shrimp and that shrimp tempura is my absolute favorite food. So, imagine my surprise when my mom suddenly suggests we have the Filipino dish, Camaron Rebosado.
“What’s that?” I asked. “You’re gonna love it,” my mom said, “It’s just like shrimp tempura!”. Now, you probably think I jumped up and down and shouted YES at the top of my lungs–for the record, I pretty much did. But one of the first thoughts I had when I heard about this glorious meal was, why haven’t I heard about this before?!?!? All these years without this dish! That’s neither here nor there, I suppose. The point is that I did find out about it, AND I learned how to make it!
My mom taught me how to cook pretty much everything, but this time, I learned this dish from my dad! My dad is actually a great cook, despite what he says, but he doesn’t do it very often–other than grilling, I mean. So, last Friday my mom and I convinced him to teach me this dish. You know, to make up for me not knowing about this dish for the last 27 years of my life. (Not bitter, I promise).
Like I said, camaron rebosado is a staple Filipino dish. It’s battered and deep-fried shrimp that is often served with sweet and sour sauce–an equally important staple in Filipino cuisine. It’s similar in texture to tempura because of its fried batter prep, but the marinade is what gives it that extra kick of flavor and sets it apart.
Camaron rebosado is really easy to prepare and very quick to cook. My dad made his own spice mix to add to the generic marinade which made the shrimp spicy and smoky. You don’t need much more to prepare it, and you can adjust the spice mix to your own taste. The batter is simple and easy to put together as well. The key here, however, is that you really want to marinade the shrimp for a while so that it soaks in that flavor before coating it in a thick layer of flour. That way it doesn’t lose its taste when it’s fried since batter can be pretty bland at times.
Discovering this dish has literally changed my life. Now that I know about it, I’ll want to have it all the time. The healthy side of me (read: the side that wants to lose weight) knows better than to actually make it all the time. But like I said, at least now I know about it.. For the next 27+ years, not only can I say that I know about camaron rebosado, but that I can make it myself too. All’s well that ends well.
What new dishes have you learned lately?
- 2 lbs jumbo shrimp peeled to tail, deveined
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 extra large eggs
- 2 tbsp milk
Season the shrimp with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and cumin. Toss to coat evenly. Set aside.
Add lemon juice to shrimp. Toss to coat evenly. Marinade for at least 40 minutes to an hour.
In a small bowl add the flour, cornstarch and little salt. Whisk to combine. Add the eggs and milk and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. The batter should be slightly thick.
Heat a deep fryer or dutch oven with canola oil. Dip the shrimp in the batter, leaving the tail free. Fry the shrimp in batches of 4-6 until the shrimp is lightly golden brown and crispy on the outside, about 3-5 minutes. Serve with rice and some veggies!