Spot Prawn Ha Gow
From Todd Bright, executive chef of Wild Rice
1 pound (454 g) B.C. spot prawns
1 teaspoon (5 mL) fresh ginger, grated on micro-plane
1/4 cup (60 mL) green onions, finely diced
1/4 cup (60 mL) water chestnuts, minced*
1 tablespoon (15 mL) sesame oil
2 tablespoons (30 mL) oyster sauce
Freshly ground pepper
8 ounces (225 g) hagou flour*
1/2 cup (125 mL) red vinegar
1/2 cup (125 mL) mirin
1 tablespoon (15 mL) cilantro, chiffonaded
Peel prawns and, using a small knife, split each prawn in half lengthwise along the back and remove the intestinal tract.
Using a cleaver, dice the prawns into large chunks, then smear them on the chopping board with the side of the cleaver. Chop finely. If you don’t have a cleaver, mince them very fine.
Place minced prawns in a mixing bowl and add ginger, green onions, water chestnuts, sesame oil, oyster sauce and pepper and green onions until the ingredients bind together.
Make up the hagou flour into a dough as per the directions on the packet.
Make sure your working space is well oiled and knead the dough until it becomes shiny and not sticky.
Separate the dough into half-ounce (15 g) chunks and roll out each dough chunk very thinly, until it almost becomes translucent.
Cut out a round of the dough using a 10cm pastry cutter to make each hagou wrapper.
Place a large spoonful of the prawn mixture into the centre of the wrapper.
Fold one side over to touch the other, roll onto its back and crimp the edges together to seal.
Steam for 6 minutes in a bamboo steamer basket.
Combine the red vinegar, mirin and cilantro in a small bowl and whisk together. Serve on the side with the hagou.
Makes 16 pieces
(* Available in Asian grocery stores like T&T or Osaka supermarkets. Hagou flour is a mix of rice and tapioca starch. Follow directions on the back of the package for the dough using about half the package of flour.)
Sambal Drunken Prawns
From Tina Fineza, executive chef, consultant Flying Tiger, Les Faux Bourgeois, La Taqueria
18 B.C. spot prawns, deveined, tails on, heads optional
2 tbsp (30 mL) garlic, chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) shallots, chopped
3 tbsp (45 mL) sambal oelek
3 tbsp (45 mL) sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
1/4 cup (60 mL) Shaoxing wine
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola/extra virgin olive oil blend
Add the oil to a sauté pan on medium to high heat. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté for 5 minutes, then add the Shaoxing wine to deglaze the pan.
Continue cooking for 1½ minutes, then add the sambal oelek and sugar and cook for another 30 seconds, before adding the prawns. The prawns will require no more than 1-1½ minutes to cook, during which time the butter should be added to emulsify the sauce. Once the prawns are cooked, remove them from the pan and reduce the remaining liquid down by half, pouring the sticky remains over the prawns on the serving dish. Garnish with the cilantro and serve immediately.
BC Spot Prawn Risotto with Garden Fresh Peas, Sautéed Pea Tendrils and Olive Oil
From chef Brandon Thordarson of 100 Nights at Opus Hotel
(Thordarson says “very decent” fish bouillon cubes are available at Whole Foods. You can substitute clam nectar or buy fresh fish stock at Granville Island Public Market.)
4 cups (1 L) water
2 pounds (1 kg) fresh B.C. spot prawns
4 cups (1 L) cooked risotto rice, as per package instructions
1 cup (250 mL) fish stock
1 cup (250 mL) Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound (450g) pea tendrils
1 tablespoon (15 mL) garlic
2 tablespoon (30 mL) salted butter
2 cups (500 mL) fresh green peas
2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
Boil water with lemon that has been juiced and cut in half. Tear the heads off the spot prawns, place in a large bowl and pour boiling water over top of tails to cover. Leave the prawns in water for 45 seconds to cook. Remove from water and let stand on counter to cool a bit, then peel.
Pre-cook the risotto to package specifications, as each type of arborio rice cooking methods vary form brand to brand. Mix the risotto with half the fish stock adding more and more stock until you have the right consistency, add the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the pea tendrils with the garlic and butter then add to the risotto. Add the peas. Heat and serve.
For each serving, place 1/4 of the finished risotto into a dinner bowl and 1/4 of the peeled prawns on top of the risotto, drizzle with olive oil.
Makes 4 servings
Spot Prawn Cobb Salad
From Neil Wyles, executive chef/owner, Hamilton Street Grill
This is a variation of the original salad created in 1937 at the Hollywood Derby restaurant. This tasty colourful Cobb salad features local spot prawns.
Dijon mustard vinaigrette:
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon and 11/2 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
11/2 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup olive oil
3 spot prawns, shells on but heads removed
3 cups organic mixed salad greens, chilled
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard vinaigrette
2 ounces Poplar Grove Tiger Blue cheese or your favourite, room temperature, crumbled
1 large heirloom tomato, in 1/4-inch dice or 12 teardrop or grape tomatoes
2 large eggs, hard-boiled and peel, in 1/4-inch dice
4 slices bacon or pancetta, diced and cooked until crisp
Vinaigrette: Combine vinegar, mustards, honey and salt in food processor or blender at high speed for 30 seconds. With motor running, slowly add canola and olive oils in steady stream, then process for another 30 seconds. Refrigerate until needed.
Cobb salad: Preheat broiler or barbecue to 450 F. Place the prawns about 4 inches from the heat and grill until they are just firm and pink, 11/2 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Shell prawns, leaving tails on.
Peel avocado and cut into 1/2-inch slices. In large bowl, gently toss green with the vinaigrette.
To serve: Arrange the salad greens on an oval-shaped serving plate. Keeping each ingredient separate, lay neat rows of blue cheese, tomatoes, avocado, spot prawns, egg and bacon on top of the greens. Serve immediately.
Spot Prawn Tortelloni with English Peas and Lemon Thyme
From James Walt, executive chef
Araxi Restaurant + Bar
Filled pastas like these tortelloni—which means “little twist” in Italian—are very easy to make, especially with a little practice. In this dish, the subtle flavours of the prawns in the filling and the peas in the sauce go together very well. Remember to taste some of the peas before you buy or pick them to be sure they are perfect.
Spot Prawn Tortelloni
1 lb spot prawns, peeled and shells reserved for sauce, well chilled
4 oz wild salmon, skin and bones removed, well chilled
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp brandy
3 Tbsp whipping cream
1 tsp chopped fresh dill
1 recipe fresh pasta dough
1 Tbsp olive oil
Lemon Thyme Sauce and Peas
2 shallots, minced
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
6 Tbsp vermouth
reserved prawn shells
1 cup fish stock
3 springs thyme
1/3 cup whipping cream
¾ cup shucked fresh peas, 4 whole pods reserved
¼ grated pecorino Romano cheese