This is a traditional Filipino stew of seafood and vegetables, with a strong tamarind flavour. When I first came across this recipe, I immediately fell in love with it.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (45 votes)


  • 1 large snapper (about 1.4 kg), filleted, skinned, bones reserved
  • salt, to taste
  • 12 large raw tiger prawns (shrimp), shelled, deveined with tails and heads left intact
  • 2 squid, cleaned, each cut into 6 pieces, scored in a crisscross pattern
  • 30 ml fish sauce


  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 4 cm piece ginger
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 4 pods fresh green tamarind or 1 golf ball-sized ball tamarind pulp
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • salt, to taste


  • 4 tomatoes, quartered, seeds removed
  • 12 baby leeks, trimmed, left whole
  • 1 bunch Chinese broccoli or similar Asian green vegetable, trimmed
  • 6 small green chillies
  • 12 red Asian shallots, halved
  • 1 white radish (daikon), peeled, cut into thin batons

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time 10 minutes

To make the stock, wash the reserved fish bones and place in a large saucepan with all of the stock ingredients, except the salt. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook, skimming frequently, for 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes to allow the sediment to settle. Double strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve, discarding the solids. If the stock is still not clear, pass it through muslin (cheesecloth). Return to a clean pan, season with salt and bring to a simmer.

Blanch each type of seafood and each accompaniment separately in the stock and set aside.

If serving immediately, place a teaspoon of fish sauce in each serving bowl, divide the blanched ingredients among the bowls, pour over the stock and serve immediately. Alternatively, you can blanch everything beforehand, then reheat in the stock just before serving.