Difficult to source and harder still to harvest, Spot Prawns are a uniquely scrumptious wild shellfish full of sweet flavor combined with rich umami savoriness and a beautiful white texture that is firm to the bite without being chewy.
Festive recipe using peeled and boiled prawns provide an exciting and talked about delicacy of the ocean that remains wildly abundant in in Southeast Alaska. Harvested using pot trap gear, spot prawns are managed for generations of sustainable seafood resource access.
Spot Prawns are sold as tails only and are easy to peel once cooked while not terribly difficult to peel raw. Owning to their characteristics of freshness and Otolith’s commitment to superior quality, spot prawns shells are as attached to their prawns’ bodies as much as they day they were harvested. Thawing shellfish under refrigeration at least a few up to 7 days before cooking will make shells easier to remove and peel. The hard shells of a large prawn are easy to grasp and the firm texture of the prawns simplifies the task while it is pinched from its shell. No deveining required. Approximate time to peel 20 large prawns: 6-7 minutes
Seasoned Prawn Boil: Approximately 1/2 cup of liquid for every 1/4 lb prawns.
For 2 lb recipe
2 lbs Spot Prawns – thawed, unpeeled or peeled with shells reserved*
2 cups water – may use 2 cups white wine
2 cups white wine or diluted lemon juice, pilsner beer, or vegetable stock
1 small onion quartered
3 celery stalks quartered into shorter lengths
1 carrot quartered lengthwise
1 garlic clove smashed
1 Tbs peppercorns
1 Tbs salt – optional
1 sprig rosemary
1/4 bunch of any fresh or old green herbs
1 Tbs lemon zest or peel – no pith
1 stick of butter
any vegetables beside beets [do not stain the prawns except] can go into the pot at your discretion
In a large sauce pot, combine all ingredients except prawns and butter, cover and bring to a boil. Add unpeeled prawns to the pot, cover and cook until done. Approximately 10-15 minutes. Give the prawns a stir to make sure all tails are curled slightly, fully cooked and opaque throughout. Remove from the heat. Stir in the stick of butter. Allow to cool slightly and serve with fresh crusty baguette. Prawns will require peeling wile eating. This recipe does not use cocktail sauce. If you like cocktail sauce omit butter and bread from the recipe and serve the prawns chilled and strained. Reserve liquid frozen for use as a soup base or stock for risotto. This recipe may be made up to 1 day in advance.
*For a more formal version of this recipe see below.
Prawns can be peeled up to 24 hours before cooking. Prawn shells are optional in this recipe and can be boiled to make the cooking stock used to serve with shelled prawns. To make a stock from prawn shells repeat the recipe above except adding only prawn shells to the stock and allow stock to cool completely before straining the stock to remove all of the ingredients except its liquid. Then add the butter to the cooled strained stock and reheat it the stock on medium heat. Once the butter is completely melted add the shelled prawns. Cook until peeled prawns are curled and opaque [approx 8-10 minutes]. Serve in bowls with crusty baguette. This recipe does not use cocktail sauce. If you like cocktail sauce omit butter and bread from the recipe and serve the prawns chilled and strained. Reserve liquid frozen for use as a soup base or stock for risotto.
Best Homemade cocktail sauce: 4 parts ketchup, 1 part horseradish, 1/2 part fresh lemon juice, 1/8 part Worcestershire sauce or chopped anchovies. Serve chilled. May be made up to 1 day ahead.