I got to learn how to make Pesang Isda from the Jorolans, owners of the legendary Pampanga restaurant, Everybody’s Cafe. I fell in love immediately with the ginger scented broth and I found it so pleasantly surprising that such a light dish stands among the more famous dishes of the province that were mostly so rich and heavy. It inspired me to make this dish, making a slightly lighter version of a usually hearty chowder. If someone’s allergic to prawns, you can easily replace with fish or even chicken (just use chicken stock).

Ingredients (serves 4)

8-10 prawns, shells removed
2 tbsps onions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 red bell pepper, sliced into small squares
2 tomatoes, minced
1 tsp thyme
2 cups fish stock
2 potatoes, cut into small cubes
1 tbsp flour
4 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps sour cream
Parsley for garnish
Salt and cayenne pepper
Chopped leeks for garnish


  1. In a pot, saute onions, garlic, ginger and tomatoes in 2 tbsps of olive oil.  Once fragrant, add in the flour and thyme.
  2. After one minute, pour in the fish stock.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add in the potatoes and peppers and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Shut off the heat and pour in the sour cream.
  4. Meanwhile, in a pan, sear the prawns seasoned with salt and cayenne pepper in the remaining olive oil.
  5. Serve the dish with the chowder at the bottom of the bowl, with the prawns arranged on top. Garnish with chopped leeks.