Grilled Spot Prawns With Peas And Ginger

Grilled Spot Prawns With Peas And Ginger

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • pounds spot prawns - (abt 12) see * Note (or other large prawns)

  • 12

    thick asparagus spears peeled, and tough ends removed

  • 1


  • 3

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided

  • Salt to taste

  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste

  • 1

    tablespoon butter

  • 1

    teaspoon grated ginger root

  • 1

    cup peas or small fava beans

  • 2

    teaspoons finely chopped chives

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1

    teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves

  • Fleur de sel for garnish (a sea salt sold at specialty markets and well-stocked supermarkets)


* Note: Spot prawns, which are so-called because they have four distinctive white spots on their abdomens. Despite its Santa Barbara nickname, the prawn is found from the Bering Sea to San Diego. Spot prawns are incredibly perishable and should be purchased "alive and kicking." Within hours of dying, they become mushy, tasteless and virtually worthless unless they've been handled just right. The spot prawn looks more like a lobster than a garden-variety shrimp and is often as long as 10 inches. Heat the grill to high. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside. Fill a stockpot or large, deep pot with water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the prawns head-first to the pot all at once and cover. Cook 30 seconds. Drain the prawns in a colander and rinse with cold water. Place the prawns on the baking sheet and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the asparagus into 3-inch pieces. Blanch 30 seconds, then plunge into a bowl of ice water. Drain and set aside. Blanch the tomato 30 seconds, then plunge into ice water. Remove the tomato, cut out the core and peel. Cut the tomato into quarters, seed and dice. Set aside. Place the prawns in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place the prawns on the grill, cover, and cook until the shells are slightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn them over and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, depending on the size. To check for doneness, remove a prawn from the grill and cut into the tail portion. The meat should be opaque and cooked through in the center. Remove the prawns from the grill and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the butter and melt; do not sizzle or brown. Add the ginger and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the asparagus and peas and warm gently, 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium and add the tomato. Cook, stirring gently, until the tomato breaks down slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. This will thicken the pan juices. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the chives. Set aside. Cut the prawns in half down the middle with a sharp knife and devein if necessary. Divide the prawns among 4 large warmed plates and spoon the asparagus mixture over and around them. Squeeze lemon juice over the prawns, drizzle liberally with the remaining 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with the tarragon and a little fleur de sel. This recipe yields 4 servings. Each serving: 459 calories; 779 mg sodium; 588 mg cholesterol; 17 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 9 grams carbohydrates; 66 grams protein; 3.11 grams fiber.


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