These are called Christmas Prawns purely because we had them on Christmas Day, they could equally be called Tuesday Prawns but that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it …
One of my favourite shops in Dublin is the Asia Market on Drury Street. I used to drag my kids in there until they complained of the smell of durian, but I still visit the place frequently. One of the delights in their freezer cabinet is prawns in various shapes and sizes and great value too. For this recipe I used farmed/shelled/deveined/uncooked prawns.
For this dish as a starter I allowed 4 prawns per person, but revise this upwards if you’re planning it as a main course or your guests look hungry.
- 1 large iceberg lettuce or similar
- 2 mango(e)s, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 cucumbers – peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 pomegranate, seeds scooped out
- 15 mint leaves, chopped
- large fistful coriander, chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped root ginger
- 1 fresh hot red chilli, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, shaved
- juice of 4 limes
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- bag of prawns defrosted
The trick with this is to do everything as last-minute as possible to keep the freshness of the dish intact.
Put a large pot of slightly salted water on to boil. If you don’t have a pot, use a pan! The trick is to heat a large volume of water.
Meanwhile, peel the cucumbers, scoop out the seeds and dice or slice, place into a non-reactive bowl. Peel the mango(e)s and chuck ’em in with the cucumbers. Ditto the pomegranate. Chop the mint and coriander and add to the above. In a jar, add the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, chilli and ginger, screw on a lid and shake until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the other stuff and mix thoroughly.
Cook the prawns in the now boiling water for three minutes. Over-cook them and they will be tough, under-cook them and you might find yourself in the environs of a toilet for a day or two.
On each plate, place a lovingly detached leaf from your lettuce, pile on a generous scoop of your salsa and top off with prawns, stacked in whatever orientation best suits your guests’ demeanour.
I added a coriander dressing to this which was possibly overkill and not viscous enough, I was trying to be all Dylan McGrath all over the plate but it didn’t really work. Presentation isn’t my strong point.