Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Don't Come the Raw Prawn With Me!

I thought I'd lean towards the ocean today, seeing it's chilly and very windy outside, therefore not being a good day to spend at the seaside! We can pretend. So get your spades and pails at the ready, grab an imaginary beach umbrella and let's head to!

As a child, I was never far away from the beach and regularly dined on all its wonderfully delicious bounties.

Also living on Hinchinbrook and Newry Island has really spoiled me with regards to fresh seafood. Having a license to buy, I bought directly from the visiting trawlers to Hinchinbrook Island. When I lived on Newry Island, I didn't have a license to buy direct from the trawlers as I did on Hinchinbrook, but I managed to work out a far better scheme with the Newry Island trawler-men. I think I've written about this previously. No money changed hands in exchange for fresh seafood. The trawlers and I operated on a contra/barter system. For a case of beer, for example, I received a large bucket or two filled with fresh prawns/shrimp and/or whatever other fresh seafood they had at their disposal. It was a great deal! So, here we go....let's pretend we're on an island in the turquoise Pacific Ocean somewhere...fare from the cares of the world.

Pancetta-Wrapped Sea Scallops:

500g (1 pound) large, fresh sea scallops (around 20 medium-large scallops)
4 oz. thinly sliced pancetta/prosciutto/bacon
20 rosemary sprigs, with the needles removed from the bottom 1-½-inches to 2-inches
2 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. coriander/cilantro-flavoured olive oil (optional, just plain olive oil will do)

Wash and dry the scallops; wrap each around with a piece of prosciutto. Pin together with a rosemary skewer, brush both sides generously with the mixed oils and grill for around 3 minutes on each side, arranging the skewers with the needle ends on a piece of foil to keep them from burning.

Serve with lemon juice and coriander/cilantro-garlic butter as a dipping sauce, or just squeeze a lemon or lime over the scallops and drizzle them with melted butter.

Sea Scallops In Sweet Chilli Sauce:

Only marinate for 10 minutes, any longer will cause the lime juice to "cook" the raw scallops and the flesh will become mushy when cooked. This recipe can also be made with prawns or a fillet of fish.

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1-tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger

750g/1-1/2 pounds sea scallops
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoons chicken broth/stock
2 teaspoons fish sauce

Hot steamed rice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped coriander/cilantro

Combine marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add scallops and stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Drain scallops and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a wide nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add oil, swirling to coat the bottom. When oil is hot, add scallops, and pan-fry, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Combine sweet chilli sauce, broth, and fish sauce in a small saucepan; heat to simmering. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Serve scallops with rice, drizzle with sauce, and garnish with coriander/cilantro.

Ginger Prawns
2tbs/30ml oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-inch/2.5cm piece ginger, finely chopped
6-8 large prawns,/shrimp peeled and deveined
1tbs/15ml light soy sauce or fish sauce
1tsp/3ml sugar
2tbs/30ml stock
2 spring onions
1 small onion, sliced

In a wok or frying pan, heat the oil until a light haze appears. Add the garlic and fry until golden brown. Add the ginger and stir. Add the prawns, stir thoroughly, then add the soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and stock or water. Stirring continually, cook unmtil the prawns are opaque and cooked through about 2 minutes. Add the sliced spring onions and onions, stir once, remove from the heat and serve.

Prawn/Shrimp Mango Stir Fry

500g/1lb prawns/shrimp, shelled
1 red capsicum/pepper, cut into thin strips about 2" in length
450g/1/2 pound asparagus cut into 2" lengths
2 heads of baby bok choy, leaves separated and larger leaves split lengthwise
1/2 mango, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1-inch piece of ginger, minced
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 heaping teaspoon of cornflour/cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon of broth

Sprinkle the prawns/shrimp with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Let it stand for 15 minutes, then pat the shrimp dry. Heat your wok until you see wisps of smoke coming from the wok, then add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok by pouring it around the side of the wok and letting it run to the bottom. When the oil is shimmering and moving, add the prawns in a single layer. Let them sit without tossing them for about 1 minute. You are trying to sear them and get some color on them. Then flip them, let them cook briefly on the other side, then remove them from the wok to a plate. They aren't going to be done at this point but you will cook them further at the end. Add the baby bok choy to the wok, again in a single layer with the stalk end towards the bottom of the wok. You're trying to keep the part that will take the longest to cook in the hottest part of the wok. Again, cook these without moving them for at least 30 seconds, until they have some browned areas. Then remove to a plate. You will need to add more oil to the wok at this point, then add the ginger and garlic, and then right away, the asparagus. Toss the asparagus for about 30 seconds and then add the peppers. Continue to toss until they have begun to soften. Add the bok choy back to the wok and add the soy sauce and oyster sauce. Stir and toss, then add the sherry. Stir and toss, then add the chicken stock. When the chicken stock starts to simmer, add the cornstarch dissolved in the chicken broth. Then add the shrimp and stir. As soon as the sauce comes to a boil it will start to thicken. Stir until the sauce thickens and becomes glossy which happens very quickly. Add the mango, cook about another 30 seconds, then serve over rice.

Fish Fillets Wrapped in Spinach with Lemon-Ginger Sauce

250g button mushrooms
60g butter
4 shallots, whites and part of green finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 bunch English spinach
4 large fish fillets (white fish such as ocean perch)
60g extra butter
1/4 cup dry vermouth
90g butter, extra
1/4 cup lemon/lime juice
3egg yolks
1/2 cup cream
2 teaspoons horseradish cream
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, extra

Wipe over mushroom caps, remove and discard stems; finely chop caps. Melt butter over low heat, add mushrooms, shallots and ginger; saute slowly just until mushrooms are tender. Wash spinach, dry and remove stems, leaving leave whole. Place fish on board and completely cover with the spinach leaves; spoon mushroom mixture evenly on top of spinach. Roll fish up tightly, from narrow end and secure with toothpicks; tie fish securely with string.

Melt extra butter in baking dish; add dry vermouth, then fish; bake, covered in moderate oven, 180C, for about 20 minutes, or until fish is cooked. During cooking time, baste fish frequently with butter and vermouth. While fish is cooking, prepare sauce.

Melt extra butter in saucepan; add lemon/lime juice and combined egg yolks and cream. Whisk over very low heat until sauce has thickened. Do not allow to boil. Stir in horseradish, extra ginger, and salt and pepper to taste.

At serving time, place a large spinach leaf on 4 dinner plates. Remove fish from oven and, using a very sharp knife, or an electric knife, cut fish into slices. Place slices on plates and spoon sauce alongside the fish.

I hope these tempt your taste buds. And for those of you who can't eat or don't like seafood, I'll take care of you next time....nicely!


  1. Well I like seafood so I'm happy. I especially like the stuffed fish and will try it toute de suite.

  2. I love seafood, so much so I'm on a seafood diet...see food and eat it!

  3. Hi Lee,

    Thanks a lot!

    You just made me hungry!

    The food looks wonderful by the way.


  4. Hi jmb, Robyn and Janice...I'm not even sorry if I've made you all hungry! ;)

  5. Me? Eat prawns? What do you think I am? A cannibal?

  6. Stop being so crabby, j cosmo newbery!

  7. Hi Lee ~~ Don't forget the rest of us, as promised. I don't eat any sea food. but it is popular.
    I loved your painting BTW. Clever girl. Thanks for your comments and glad you liked the Hoya Bella. I had it for over 20 years and then I last it. Glad I had some pics. It has rained here all day today which was good, but was very windy and our top temp was 8 C and tomorrow will be 10C. We have had quite a few 12 s and 13 s. Brrr.
    Take care, Lee. Love, Merle.

  8. Hey I shan't forget the meantime dig into that freezer of've got lots of goodies stored away in there! ;)

  9. Hi, Lee. As you know, I don't eat fish but I'm sure all of these are delicious. That sounds like a great bartering system you had there!

  10. It certainly was a great system, Welsh...I benefitted greatly in the scheme, too. I always had an abundance of fresh seafood.

  11. I love seafood but my husband does not, I copied your receipe for my mom and I to try next week. All of it is making me very hungry.

  12. Anonymous6:48 PM

    Can I make a request Lee? I would dearly like some more recipes about char grilling... especially chicken and seafood. You know... with lots of good char stripes etc. My favourite recipe so far... is my own recipe... Lemon and lime char grilled chicken with rice. Yum!

  13. Hi Shelly and Nicole...good to see you both. :)

    I certainly will see what I can do for you, Nicole. Char-grilling is great. :)

    Thanks for your comments.

  14. Lee
    I just had breakfast and now I am HUNGRY FOR SEAFOOOOOOD. Yummy. I love shrimp and every chance I get I will eat it. May have to have a stir fry tonight if Kitty can wait that long.

  15. Aha! It's going to be a long wait between breakfast and your next meal, Lady Di....I think you will be having an early dinner, somehow! ;)

  16. Gidday Lee,

    Just had a pizza for dinner and have just read your post on prawn recipes.
    Oooohhh how cruel. My favourite food seafood, prawns (drool) crabs (think Homer Simpson drooling). Serves me right for reading this post..sigh!!