Get ‘em still alive and cook them as quickly as possible. Remove the heads just before cooking. If you are a bit squeamish get your partner (I do), or a friend to do it. Or you can simply leave them whole. Spot Prawn season begins in May in B.C. We get them right off the boats at the dock on Granville Island. They are wonderfully sweet and succulent and worth waiting for! We simply place them on the barbecue, medium-high heat, shells on and cook until they change colour. You could do them on a rack under the broiler. Watch carefully, you don’t want to overcook them.
Two dips that go really well with the prawns:
6 Tbsp. butter
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
2 ½ Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. (scant) ground cumin
¼ tsp. hot smoked Spanish paprika
Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, sauté for a bit, but do not let the garlic turn colour. Stir in the remaining ingredients; season with salt.
Sweet Chili Sauce – An excellent, spicy, sweet dip that’s oh so good with spot prawns, halibut cheeks, coconut prawns, or crab cakes.
½ cup sugar
¾ cup water
½ sweet red bell peppers, seeded & any membrane removed, chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
2 Tbsp. sambal oelek, you can adjust to taste, perhaps 1 Tbsp. to start and see from there
¼ cup fish sauce
4-5 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
Combine water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 3 minutes or until reduced by a quarter and just beginning to thicken. Let cool.
Place the red pepper, garlic and sambal oelek in a food processor or blender. Add sugar syrup and puree. Add fish sauce and lime juice, blend until combined. Taste for seasoning adding more lime juice, fish sauce or sambal oelek to taste. Makes about 1 ½ cups and freezes really well if necessary.