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Suwam na Mais – Corn Soup- Instant Pot + Stove-top

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Why did I write this new cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Food In a Multicooker Pot? I wrote this cookbook for you to help make life easier in your busy household. I’m sharing this recipe for Suwam na Mais with Pork and Shrimps in the Instant Pot because I didn’t have space for this recipe in the cookbook.

Not too long ago, I lived your life right here in my American suburban home.  I’ve been a working wife and mother, juggling work, family and home while trying to find a balance between everything else. There were days that were more challenging than the last. There were difficult days at work. At the end of these days, there was nothing more I looked forward to than to go home to my husband and sons and enjoy family time with a good meal. But time at home was packed, too. There was cooking, chores, the kids and homework, driving them to after-school sports, Scouts, religious ed. All these done in one day. Then I’d repeat it all the next day. Don’t get me wrong. I love being a wife and mother. I’d do it all again. But this time, I’d do it with my Instant Pot.

The Instant Pot is the new darling of counter-top kitchen appliances in America. Its generic name is a multi-cooker. A multi-cooker is both a slow cooker and a high-pressure cooker. By using the high-pressure settings, I can cook Filipino and Asian dishes in half the time it normally would take.

Traditionally, the Philippine dishes I learned to cook from my mother required long hours of braising, boiling, steaming, simmering and roasting. But now my cookbook shows you that with an Instant Pot, or most brands of multi-cookers you can cook classic Filipino dishes faster. In my new cookbook of over 100 pages, I put together 36 traditional Filipino recipes, each accompanied by full color photos, so you can see what the outcome of the dish is. Recipes that will normally take longer to cook will take about half the time in an Instant Pot. I tested all these recipes in my Instant Pot and in my American kitchen, using ingredients from nearby and accessible sources. Each recipe resulted in tender, succulent, flavorful Filipino meals which cooked in no time, yet I managed not to lose the soul of my mom’s cooking.

This recipe for Suwam na Mais with Pork and Shrimps was a classic meal my mom used to cook often from the bountiful harvest of sweet corn my dad planted in our farm back in the days of my childhood. I can’t forget the heartwarming aroma of corn kernels simmering in a stew of clear, ginger-flavored broth with shrimps and pork. When I was old enough, I was tasked by mom to add the leafy green kangkong (water spinach) at the end of cooking. I was mesmerized by how the silky, green spinach leaves and long, crisp stems would turn soft, nestled next to the corn, pork and shrimps. Each time I cook suwam na mais in my American kitchen today, the savory and salty aromas nip the air around me and memories of those good old days come back to me in every soup bowl I ladle.

As for my new cookbook which I wrote for you, dear readers, good friend Nancie McDermott, bestselling cookbook author described it best, “It’s her mom’s  classic Filipino recipes cooked with ease and speed in an Instant Pot.”

Suwam na Mais - Corn Soup - Instant Pot + Stove-top

This Instant Pot Suwam na Mais- Corn Soup with Pork and Shrimps is a faster way to cook the traditional corn soup Filipinos are fond of. Use fresh corn when in season for this recipe. If not available, substitute with canned corn kernels. The sweet shrimps and savory pork pieces add a hefty dimension to this all-in-one soup meal simmering in a ginger-flavored broth. This is an Asian in America recipe. I offer two alternative ways in the procedure to cook this: In the Instant Pot or on the stove-top. Serves 2 to 4.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time37 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Suwam Mais Corn Soup
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 115kcal
Author: Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • Instant Pot multicooker - 6 quarts or 8 quarts.


  • 4 whole fresh corn peeled, silk strings removed
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled, minced
  • 1 whole white or yellow onion chopped
  • 1 knob fresh ginger about 1-inch, peeled, sliced in julienne strips
  • 1 Tablespoon patis (fish sauce)
  • 1/2 pound pork shoulder fat trimmed, cut in 1-inch cubes or 2-inch long strips
  • 1/2 pound fresh shrimps peeled, heads and tails removed
  • 8 to 10 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper powder
  • 1 bundle kangkong (water spinach) if cut in 2-inch strips about 2 cups; or use baby spinach


  • To cook in the Instant Pot:
  • To cook the corn: Peel off the husks and silk threads from the fresh corn. Cut them in halves to fit in the steamer basket. Arrange the corn, in vertical position, inside a silicone or metal steamer basket, about 7-inches wide which will fit in the inside pot.
  • Place the steamer basket with the corn on top of the trivet in the inside pot. Pour 2 cups of water into the inside pot. Water should reach just above the trivet.
  • Secure the lid. Check that the cooking pressure is on High and the release valve is set to Sealing.
  • Select Manual and cook at High Pressure for 7 minutes.
  • When cooking is complete, switch Cancel to turn off Instant Pot. Use a quick release before opening the lid. Open the lid carefully. Use silicone oven mitts and tongs to take out the corn. Let the cooked corn cool for 5 to 10 minutes in a colander. Strip off the corn kernels using a sharp knife. You need about 2 to 3 cups of cooked corn for this recipe. Set the corn kernels aside.
  • To cook the Suwam na Mais: Discard the water from the inside pot used in cooking the corn. Using paper towels, wipe the inside pot dry. Turn on Sauté. When inside pot is hot enough after about 1 to 2 minutes, pour the vegetable oil. The oil heats up in about 2 minutes. Sauté the garlic, onions and ginger for 2 minutes till fragrant.
  • Add the patis (fish sauce), shrimps and pork. Mix well for 1 minute. Turn off Sauté.
  • Pour the broth and corn kernels. Season with salt and ground pepper.
  • Secure the lid. Check that the pressure is on High and the release valve is set to Sealing.
  • Select Manual and cook at High Pressure for 20 minutes. When cooking is complete, do a quick release. Carefully open the lid. Add the spinach. Close and secure the lid again.
  • Select Keep Warm for 5 minutes for the spinach to cook in the residual heat. Click Cancel to turn off. Open the lid. Ladle the soup in individual serving bowls and serve piping-hot.
  • To cook on the stove-top:
  • Prepare the corn. Peel off husks and silk threads. Boil in a large stockpot filled with water. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes till corn is soft and cooked. Remove corn from stockpot. Drain in a colander. Using a sharp knife, scrape off the kernels and set aside in a bowl.
  • Over medium-high heat, using the same large stockpot, add the oil. When oil is hot enough in about 2 to 3 minutes, sauté the garlic, onions and fresh ginger. Add the patis (fish sauce). Blend well.
  • Add the shrimps and pork to the mixture. Add 1/2 cup of the broth. Lower heat to a simmer. Cover and let this cook in about 20 minutes till pork is soft and shrimps have turned to a bright orange color.
  • Pour the rest of the broth and the corn kernels. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Cover and simmer the soup for 10 to minutes more till flavors have blended.
  • Add the spinach and continue cooking for 5 minutes till greens are soft. Serve piping hot.
  • Cook's comment:  When corn is not in season, try using canned corn kernels in the amount indicated on this recipe.
  • Disclosure: Instant Pot is a registered trademark of the Instant Pot Company which is not associated with this blog or my cookbook. I was not paid to review or mention the brand Instant Pot or any multi-cooker on my blog or books. But I will gladly recommend this kitchen appliance for fast, easy and flavorful cooking.
  • Hello, Friends! All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos and  recipe content I wrote, on your website,books, films, television shows or videos  without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe or content on another website, video, news article,or media outlets mentioned above please ASK my permission, re-write it in your own words and simply link back to this blog to give proper attribution. It’s the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]


Serving: 1g | Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 608mg | Potassium: 118mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Did you like this recipe? I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker PotBuy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com – sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

Disclosure: Instant Pot is a registered trademark of the Instant Pot Company which is not associated with this blog. I was not paid to review or endorse the brand and products used. 

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