A Variation of the Seafood Chowder

Food Trip  /   /  By Rica Espiritu  /  28 views

This is the first time I’ve done this. I had a lot of seafood stocked up in my freezer and I needed to free some space. Since I didn’t have the time to buy veggies to cook some chop suey (not to mention how tedious prep can be), I decided to make it easier on myself and whip up a dish based on what I had in the fridge. The result was something everyone loved. I’m writing this down so that I can remember how I did it.

Ingredients:

1 kg mussels/clams, shell on
300 g shrimps, shelled and deveined [save the heads to make into a broth]
500 g baby squid ( or sliced regular-sized squid)
200 g fish, 1-inch cubes (you can use salmon)
200 g scallops
3 large potatoes, cubed
5 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, cubed
200 g bacon, finely chopped (for toppings)
1 stick butter
2 cups cream
500 ml seafood stock
4 tbsp flour
1 onion, minced
1 head garlic, minced
salt or patis and black pepper to taste

Optional:

1/2 tsp paprika
2 red bell peppers, minced
1 tbsp taba ng talangka

Instructions:

  1. Boil 1 liter of water. Add mussels/clams. Once the mussels/clams are opened, take it out. Add shrimp heads and then strain it after simmering for 10 mins. Save the stock.
  2. Remove mussels/clams from the shell, set aside.
  3. Cook bacon till brown. Remove and set aside. Cook scallops in bacon drippings. Remove and set aside. Cook shrimp in bacon drippings. Remove and set aside.
  4. Cook squid in bacon drippings. Drain the water/juices. You can’t use this because it will overpower the taste of the mussels/clams.
  5. In a clean pot, lightly fry the potatoes. Remove and set aside.
  6. Saute garlic, onions, celery, carrots and red bell peppers for 5 mins. Pour stock and taba ng talangka. Add potatoes and bring to boil for 20 mins. Season to taste.
  7. Add all the seafood (shrimps, mussels/clam meat, scallops, fish, squid, and cream, bring to a boil and simmer for an additional 3 minutes.
  8. If the broth is too watery, you can either create a roux [heat butter, add flour. Keep stirring till it is brownish, add broth then pour into the soup] or add cream.
  9. The bacon’s for garnishing.

 

Notes:

  1. The celery made a lot of difference. In fact, it took out a lot of the fishy taste [lansa].
  2. Adding the paprika and red bell peppers changed the taste too. Again, this is optional. Like a faint hint of Jambalayaness. ha ha
  3. Adding the taba ng talangka also made the soup very tasty [and sinful]. Also optional.
  4. Between adding roux and cream, I added more cream since that was what I had. I ran out of pots to do the roux.
  5. A friend suggested using oats or quinoa to thicken the sauce instead of using a roux. I tried using oats on a smaller portion. It became a meal in itself. You don’t need bread anymore. In fact, it turned into ‘seafood porridge’. It was good. Sounds strange but tasted really good.

This was how watery it was. I had to add cream to thicken it up.

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