Grilling seafood is a part of me, a part of growing up where friends continuously arrive at my parents' home with an already big family. I am the youngest among four and we don't have so much years in between us so our social lives are intertwined with each other's. My friends, their friends, it doesn't matter. We all go out to grab a beer together. We move in droves and we always end up in big tables in pubs or restaurants to drink and eat together.
Our favorite food is grilled seafood. In open air places in the Philippines, while we have our beer and chat, our food is cooked while we wait. In my parents' house, it's the same and when we go to the beach house, we buy the day's catch and grill them while chatting with freezing bottles of beer in our hands.
In Italy, grilling seafood is done almost exclusively in late spring throughout summer because they are the only months when outdoor life commences again. When my husband and I are with friends at home, we grill seafood and vegetables enjoyed with cold glasses of white wine.
There, the difference between Philippine and Italian grilling starts. Italian grilled food is drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, salt and sometimes lemon. With the shrimp, I don't even put anything because when they are fresh, they are already perfect as is. Vegetables need some balsamic vinegar, parsley and garlic (for those who are not bothered by it).
Philippine grilled seafood needs two kinds of dipping sauces when being eaten. Soy sauce and calamansi lemons as one kind and the other one is vinegar with loads of garlic and onions with salt or soy sauce to lessen the sourness of the vinegar. Chili is also added to those who want. Vegetables though are not usually grilled.
Both cuisines, the same at the beginning, are eaten with local condiments when on the table. I love grilled food because of its smoky flavor so I don't really have a favorite. I eat them according to local ways. In Italy, I love them Mediterranean style, with extra virgin olive oil while in the Philippines, I enjoy dipping them in tangy and salty sauces. Whatever cuisine it is, the bottom line is, it's a very healthy way of cooking the food and the smoky flavors are incomparable to anything. And it's so simple too. The only problem for me there is how to keep myself from stealing from the grill before the others. Shrimp is my favorite.
Being a healthy dish, I created this Mediterranean Grilled Seafood and Vegetable Platter recipe for Skinny Ms. It is a site dedicated to giving healthy living tips, resources and recipes.