Fresh Ways To Serve Prawns This Summer
Prawns With Courgette Salad, Lime & Chilli Dressing: Colin Pritchard, Wright Brothers
Many ingredients have a natural season when they’re best to eat. For prawns it's summer. For me it conjures up images of al fresco dining with a crisp glass of white wine. At Wright Brothers we like to buy white leg vannamei prawns from Lincolnshire as they have great flavour and are sustainably farmed in this country. They are pretty unique as it's rare to find prawns in the UK that have never been frozen, with no glaze added. If you’re unable to get your hands on these, go to any reputable fishmongers and take their advice.
- 400g of raw, shell-on prawns
- 2 courgettes
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 limes
- 2 red chillies
- 50ml of rapeseed oil
- Half a bunch of parsley
- First make the dressing. Zest and juice the limes, de-seed and finely chop the chilli and mix in a bowl with the rapeseed oil (leaving a little oil spare). Limes vary a lot in juiciness so mix it up and taste it. It should taste sharp, not oily. Pick the parsley leaves and chop finely. Add them to the dressing just before serving to avoid them going brown.
- Next, make the courgette salad. Top and tail the courgettes and thinly slice lengthways to make ribbons (I use a mandolin to do this, but you could use a household vegetable peeler). Salt the ribbons lightly and leave in a colander for 5 to 10 minutes to drain off any excess liquid that comes out.
- To cook the prawns, add a little rapeseed oil to the frying pan and heat over a medium high heat. Season the prawns with salt and pepper and toss with a drop of rapeseed oil. Add the prawns to the pan, cover with a lid and cook for 1 minute. Take the lid off, turn the prawns over and finish cooking. They are done once they have turned opaque all the way through.
- To serve, mix the courgettes with some of the dressing and put a little on each plate. Arrange the prawns around it and dress with the remainder of the dressing. Serve with wedges of lime and don’t forget finger bowls!
Szechuan Prawns: Rick Toogood, Prawn On The Lawn
The smell of prawns cooking on the plancha in a local restaurant on holiday is hard to beat. Back at home, they’re simple to cook on the BBQ and are a nice treat for the warmer months when you get home from work, accompanied by a lovely chilled glass of wine. Always cook prawns for slightly less time than you think – there is nothing wrong with them being slightly raw in the middle if they are fresh. And don’t be scared of sucking the heads, as that’s the tastiest bit.
For the Szechuan salt:
- 1 tbsp of Szechuan pepper
- 2 tbsp of black peppercorns
- 4 tbsp of Chinese five spice
- 9 tbsp of table salt
For the prawns:
- Olive oil, for frying
- 12 raw tiger prawns
- 2 limes, halved
- To make the Szechuan salt, heat a frying pan over a medium heat and toast the Szechuan pepper and black peppercorns for about 1 minute, to release their aroma. Transfer to a spice grinder and blitz thoroughly. Alternatively, crush as finely as possible in a pestle and mortar. Finally, combine with the Chinese five spice in a non-reactive (glass, ceramic or stainless steel) bowl and set aside.
- Add the table salt to the frying pan, increase the heat to high, and cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the salt turns slightly grey. Tip the hot salt into the bowl with the rest of the spices and mix to fuse the flavours together. Set aside and allow to cool. Kept in an airtight container, this salt will keep for about six months.
- Bring the frying pan back up to a medium heat and drizzle in a little olive oil. Place the prawns in the pan, drizzle a little more oil over them and generously sprinkle about 2-3 tbsp of the flavoured salt over the prawns. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the prawns have changed from their natural grey colour to pink on the underside, then flip them over, sprinkle with a little more Szechuan salt and cook for a further 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with limes.
Prawn & Egg Smørrebrød With Lemon Mayo & Dill: Robin Freeman, Ekte Nordic Kitchen
Fresh flavour, light texture, juicy flesh – prawns are great with a cold beer or some crisp white wine, lemon, mayo and some bread: perfect summer combinations. Make sure your prawns are of good quality and keep the cooking process simple. I like to source mine from my local fishmongers F.C. Soper in Nunhead. If you can get out of bed early enough, head to Billingsgate fish market.
- 1 slice of Scandi-style sourdough rye bread
- 1 egg
- Salted butter, for spreading
- 60g of brown shrimp. A good alternative is Greenland prawns but make sure you buy shell-on and peel yourself as the flavour will be much better and you can keep the shells for making prawn stock for soups and sauces.
- 30g of lemon mayo
- A few sprigs of dill
- Black pepper
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- Put the egg into boiling water and boil for 8 minutes. Cool fast in cold water.
- Put the sliced egg on the buttered rye so it covers the bread. Put a small amount of mayo on each yolk and arrange the prawns on top.
- Grate a bit of zest on a microplane over the prawns and squeeze a small teaspoon of juice over everything.
- Season with black pepper and sea salt. Garnish with plenty of dill.
- Serve with a beer and a shot of ice-cold akvavit or a dry with wine.
Fire-Roasted Prawns: Raz Helalat, The Coal Shed
Succulent grilled prawns bring back happy memories of summer holidays on the coast, sitting outside and eating fresh seafood and shellfish. Don’t throw away the shells, they are really flavourful and full of nutrients, especially the heads, so use them to make a sauce or stock for soups or risottos. I make my very own secret sauce made up of different spices and juicy ripe tomatoes.
- 12 prawns peeled and de-veined
- 30ml of oil, for pan frying
- 10g of dried cherry tomatoes – halved
For the ‘secret sauce’:
- 6 shallots – halved
- 70g of garlic, sliced
- 1 tsp of crushed chillies
- 2 tsp of mustard seeds
- 1 tsp of coriander seeds
- 1 tsp of smoked paprika
- 1 tsp of rose harissa
- 6 fresh ripe tomatoes cut into eighths
- 20ml of cooking oil
- 10g of kosher salt
For the potato salad:
- 400g of Jersey Royals, cooked and sliced into 1cm thick rounds
- 50g of shallots finely diced
- 50g of dill gherkins finely sliced into rounds
- 20g of capers
- 10g of parsley leaves – ripped
- 40ml of sherry vinegar
- 100ml of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To make the secret sauce, slice up the inners of the shallots and the garlic, and sweat without colouring in pan with the oil. Add the spices and cook for a further 4-5 mins. Add the tomatoes and the salt and remove to a cooler part of a stove. Stir occasionally until the tomatoes break down, approximately 8-10 mins. Place into a blender and blend until smooth. Pass through a fine chinois.
- Take 50ml of secret sauce and mix into the raw prawns. Leave for 1-2 hours.
- Next, make the potato salad. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients, apart from the parsley, together. Season to taste. (Add the parsley when you’re ready to serve).
- When you’re ready to serve, heat the grill on medium, or a pan to until it just starts to smoke. Add the prawns and cook for 90 seconds on both sides. Remove from direct heat and leave above the grill to rest.
- Scatter the potato salad over a plate and dot around the rest of the secret sauce. Place the prawns over the top and add the cherry tomatoes.
Carabineros With 'Nduja Mayonnaise: Anthony Demetre, Wild Honey St James
The biggest mistake people make when cooking with prawns is discarding the heads. It’s one of the most flavoursome parts, so either keep it and eat as much of it as you can, or set it aside and use it to make a bisque. Carabineros (scarlet prawns) are not always easy to get, so plan ahead and befriend your fishmonger.
- Salted butter
- Baby gem lettuce
- This particular recipe is a modern take on the prawn cocktail my mum used to make. Simply warm the prawns in salted butter in a frying pan. If the weather’s good, cook them on a Big Green Egg BBQ instead.
- Serve the warmed prawns with a dollop of nduja mayonnaise, made by mixing ‘nduja spreadable sausage with mayo. You can also dilute the mayonnaise with milk or water to create a dressing.
- Add baby gem lettuce to the dish to make it more of a prawn cocktail.
Hot & Sweet Mango Prawn Salad: The Groovy Food Company
- 400g of large raw tiger prawns
- 1 tbsp of The Groovy Food Company Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- 100g of dried vermicelli rice noodles
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
- 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced1 red onion, sliced thinly
- 1 large carrot, julienned
- 100g of sugar snap peas, sliced lengthways
- 1 slightly under ripe mango, peeled and julienned
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
- Fresh coriander to garnish
For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp of The Groovy Food Company Rich & Dark Agave Nectar
- 1 tbsp of soy sauce
- 2 tbsp of The Groovy Food Company Omega High Five Oil
- ½ clove of garlic crushed
- Juice of 1 lime
- Cook the noodles by placing into a bowl and pouring over boiling water, leave to stand for 5 minutes then drain and leave to cool. Meanwhile prepare the vegetables and set aside in a large bowl.
- Pre-heat a frying pan then add in the coconut oil, fry the prawns for 2-3 minutes per side, until pink and cooked through.
- Meanwhile whisk together the dressing for the salad. Finally dress the noodles, peppers, carrot, red onion beansprouts, sugar snaps, mango and chilli serve up topped with the hot prawns then garnish with the coriander.
Asparagus & Broad Bean Salad With Caper & Chilli Dressing: Tom Lewis, Monachyle Mhor Hotel
The prawns are clean and simple, so this is a very pure salad that brings out their gentle and sweet flavour.
- 1 bunch of blanched asparagus
- 200g of blanched broad beans (pod the shells if you’re feeling fancy)
- 1 small shallot, finely diced
- 1 red chili, seeds removed if you prefer
- 2 tsp of mini capers
- 30g of finely chopped parsley
- Splash of olive oil
- Splash of white wine vinegar
- Handful of peppery leaves (watercress, rocket or nasturtium leaves)
- 2 tbsp of natural yoghurt
- 2 tbsp of crème fraîche
- A squeeze of lemon
- Salt and pepper
1. Use a decent sized pan and fill it with boiling water up to the three-quarter mark.
Add a generous amount of rock salt – a good double pinch. Keep on a high heat, then add the prawns, shell on and cook for 2-3 minutes until nice and pink.
Remove the prawns from the water and allow to cool naturally.
When cool enough to handle, peel the shells. You can freeze the shells and use them for a rich soup or sauce another time.
Combine shallot, chili, capers, parsley with a good quality olive oil and a splash of good quality white wine vinegar. Set aside.
Combine the yoghurt, crème fraîche, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
To assemble, add 1 spoonful of yoghurt and crème fraîche mix onto the plate and press down with the back of a spoon.
Put asparagus and broad beans into a bowl. Add the parsley, chilli and caper dressing. Combine and adjust seasoning. Place on top of yoghurt and crème fraîche.
Add the prawns into the same bowl, coat with the last of the dressing and place on top of the broad bean and asparagus.
Top with the leaves and serve.
Pasta With Prawns, Pistachio & Ricotta: Nina Strazzanti, Strazzanti
I moved to Sicily when I was just about to turn 25. During that short time in Trapani I found three flavour combinations from the local fishermen. Today, these three ingredients play such a vital role in many of our dishes and can be dressed in a variety of ways and techniques: the Sicilian emerald gold pistachio, creamy fresh ricotta cheese and sweet Sicilian red prawns lined with an edge of saltiness from the sea. Although we can’t get to our beloved Sicily right now, we are still transporting ourselves there with this dish and using prawns which we have widely available here in the UK.
- 200g of tagliatelle
- 250g of fresh ricotta
- 1 bunch of fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, lightly crushed
- 125ml of white wine
- 1 lemon, zested
- 50g of pistachios, lightly toasted
- 200g of raw peeled prawns
- Extra virgin olive oil
- This is a fast sauce to make, so it is important that your water is already boiling to cook the pasta and that all components to the dish are prepared and ready on the side to cook with.
- In a bowl, place your Ricotta cheese, chopped fresh basil and half the Lemon Zest inside and mix well; leave to the side.
- Make sure your Prawns are without shells and cleaned well patting dry with kitchen roll; leave to the side.
- Prepare your Pistachios by lightly roasting in an oven at 160°C for 5 minutes and once cooled roughly chop; leave to the side.
- Bring to the boil your pasta water which is well salted and start to cook your pasta ¾ of the way.
- In a large saucepan place 1 tbsp of olive oil and add in your lightly crushed garlic removing the garlic skin. Turn the heat on low and start to cook the garlic until the oil is perfumed.
- Turn the heat up slightly and add in your prawns and chopped pistachios stirring well, season with sea salt. Cook until the prawns are cooked through this should take less than 5 minutes (that is why it is important your pasta is already cooking at this point).
- Take your ricotta, basil and lemon mix and add 8 large tbsp of pasta water mix well together and leave it to the side.
- Drain your cooked pasta, keeping to the side some of the pasta water if needed for later and add into the prawn, garlic and pistachio mix; stir well. Take your ricotta mix and add this into the saucepan with the prawns and pasta and finish cooking the pasta in the sauce if the sauce is looking a bit dry add in extra pasta water which you have reserved from draining. Serve with extra lemon zest, basil and pistachios.
Seared Tiger Prawns & Cauliflower With Preserved Lemon Dressing: Henry Russell, Belazu
A recipe that sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is, this dish is a great one to make for a dinner party starter or as a light supper. The sharp preserved lemon and moscatel vinegar dressing helps to cut through the rich, creamy cauliflower mash.
- 50g of butter
- 1 onion chopped
- ½ cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1 lemon, zested
- 300ml of milk
- 180g of tiger or king prawns
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 spring onion
- 2 preserved lemons
- 25ml of moscatel vinegar
- 50ml of early harvest olive oil
- ½ tsp of sugar
- Salt and pepper
- Melt the butter and add the onion on a low/medium heat, cook until soft but not coloured. Add the cauliflower, garlic, zest and milk. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before pureeing the mixture with a stick blender, season with salt to taste.
- Butterfly the prawns and place in a bowl with the finely sliced spring onions, microplaned garlic, salt and olive oil.
- Make the dressing. Cut the lemons into quarters and scoop out the flesh then finely dice the skins and combine it with the other ingredients and whisk together, season to taste.
- Put a frying pan over a high heat, when the pan is very hot add the prawns, moving them regularly until cooked through. Plate the puree and sprinkle over the prawns, chop the dill and chives and add to the dressing and pour over.
Rose Harissa Prawns With Dill & Lemon Couscous
- 3 tbsp of early harvest extra virgin olive oil
- 150g of barley couscous
- 2 lemons, 1 juiced, the other cut into wedges
- 10g of dill
- 250g of raw peeled king prawns
- 6 tsp of rose harissa paste
- Prepare the barley couscous with 300ml of salted water according to the packet instructions. Once it has stood for five minutes fold in the 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsps of lemon juice and most of the dill, reserving some for garnish.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the prawns and fry for 1-2 minutes until just turning pink. Add the rose harissa paste and toss to coat thoroughly. Cook for a further minute or until the prawns are pink and opaque all the way through.
- Serve the prawns on the couscous and scatter with the remaining dill.
Steamed Tiger Prawns With Confit Cherry Tomatoes, Celery & Avocado: Carmine Giannino, Il Pampero
- 10 tiger prawns
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 4 Celery sticks
- 1 avocado
- 10g of parsley
- 1 tsp of icing sugar
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- First, start with the tomatoes, as they need an hour in the oven. Preheat the oven to 100°C. Wash the tomatoes, cut in half and place on a baking tray. Sprinkle with icing sugar, salt and pepper, and bake for 1 hour.
- In the meantime, clean the prawns, separating the flesh from the shell and the head. Remove the intestines and cook the cleaned prawns in a boiling pot of salted water for 2 minutes, drain them and season with salt pepper and oil.
- Peel the celery sticks, cut them finely at a diagonal and keep some leaves (they are lovely for decoration). Then chop and add half of the parsley leaves, season to taste.
- Cut avocado into small cubes put in a bowl with the lemon juice and season.
- Once the tomatoes are ready let them cool for few minutes before plating.
- Serve on a plate starting with avocado as the base of the dish, arrange the prawns on top of it, then add the celery, cherry tomatoes and the rest of parsley leaves and the rest of the celery leaves to decorate.
Prawn Cocktail: Ioannis Grammenos, Heliot Steak House
- 8 fresh prawns
- Iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
For the guacamole:
- 1 large ripe tomato deseeded
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 lime, juice and zest
- 2 tbsp of coriander, leaves and stalks chopped, plus a few leaves,
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 chilli, red or green, deseeded and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
For the marie rose sauce:
- ½ lemon, juice only
- 5g of Worcestershire sauce
- 120g tomato ketchup
- 2 splashes of Tabasco sauce
- 2g of smoked paprika
- 2g of paprika
- 10g of mayonnaise
- 2g of cayenne pepper or (chilli powder)
- Salt to taste and cracked black pepper
- Boil the prawns with the shell for 3 to 4 minutes, when they are ready cool them in ice-cold water and peel the shells.
- Peele the avocados mash with a fork until smooth, mixing in the lime juice and salt.
- Finely chop the tomato, coriander, red onion and chilli and add in on the avocado mix. Finally add the olive oil and the salt, taste and if need it adjust. Cover the guacamole and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- In another mixing bowl add the mayonnaise and the tomato ketchup, mix well, add the rest of the ingredients to the mayonnaise and mix until all the ingredients combine together in a light pink sauce, season to taste and add more tabasco if you want.
- Use a pastry ring to stabilise the guacamole in the middle of the plate, add 4 prawns one opposite of the other, topped with the Marie Rose sauce and finish with the iceberg lettuce.
Indonesian Gado Gado Salad With Crunchy Tiger Prawns: Watercress.co.uk
This typical Indonesian street food staple combines a delicious spicy peanut sauce with fresh, crunchy ingredients including plenty of watercress which is known in Indonesia as selada air. This recipe suggests topping with crunchy bread-crumbed tiger prawns, but you could easily substitute with pan-fried tofu or salmon fillets.
- 200g of cooked new potatoes
- 6 tiger prawns, tails left on, but head and legs removed
- 3 free-range eggs
- A little plain flour
- 75g of Japanese breadcrumbs (penko)
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 1 small handful of radishes, cut into quarters
- ½ small cucumber, sliced
- ½ bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
- 1 handful of bean sprouts, washed
- 500ml of vegetable oil for frying
- 85g bag of watercress
For the peanut sauce:
- 25g of soft dark brown sugar
- 75g of peanut butter
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tsp of light soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tsp of fish sauce red chilli
- Bring a small pan of water to the boil. Place in two of the eggs and simmer for 6 minutes 30 seconds for soft boiled, or for 10 minutes for hard boiled. Once the eggs are cooked, carefully pour off the boiling water and fill the pan with cold water in order to cool them down. Once cooled, peel and cut in half. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Next take three small bowls. Crack the remaining egg into one, then whisk for a few seconds until scrambled. Add the plain flour and breadcrumbs into the other two bowls. Breadcrumb the prawns by dipping each one first into the flour, then into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs. Keep the breaded prawns in the fridge until you are nearly ready to serve the salad.
- Make the sauce by blending all the ingredients together. Taste and adjust by adding more lime juice and soy sauce if necessary. The sauce should taste beautifully zingy with a fire coming through from the chilli and a hint of saltiness. Remember the sauce will be spread throughout the salad so you need to make sure it has lots of flavour.
- Add the vegetable oil into a frying pan and heat to 180°C. If you don’t have a temperature probe you can test the temperature of the oil by dropping in a couple of breadcrumbs. If they sizzle and float on the surface of the oil then it is hot enough for frying. Carefully drop in the bread-crumbed prawns and use a metal slatted spoon or fish slice to keep them moving until they are a beautiful golden brown. Remove from the oil, drain on kitchen towel and sprinkle over some sea salt.
- Finally, assemble your beautiful salad by piling up the watercress in a large bowl before taking a little of everything and arranging neatly on top. Add on the fried prawns and drizzle over the lovely peanut sauce. Serve.
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