Robert Belcham, chef and owner of Campagnolo restaurant, shares an easy recipe, plus tips for buying and prepping this seafood delicacy
Yield: Serves 4 as an appetizer; 2 as a meal
1 lb B.C. spot prawns
4 slices ginger
1 whole scallion, smashed (crush with the back of a chef’s knife)
½ tbsp. salt
8 cups water
2 tbsp. high-quality soy sauce
2 tbsp. water or unsalted chicken stock
pinch of sugar
1 serrano chili pepper, thinly sliced
1 tsp. sesame oil
Spot prawns: In a large saucepan over high heat, bring salt and water to a boil. Add scallion and ginger; boil for 1 minute. Add prawns and return to a boil. Cover and steep for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain and serve immediately with dipping sauce.
Sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Taste for seasoning. Dilute with water if too salty. Cover and heat in microwave for 1 minute to warm and combine flavours. Serve with cooked prawns.
“Buy local spot prawns when they’re in season and fresh,” says Chef Robert Belcham. The seafood is only available fresh for two to four weeks around mid-May (the 2017 Spot Prawn Festival will coincide with the prawn-fishery opening). “If you aren’t going to cook them that night, take the heads off. Put them in a container in the coldest part of your fridge and cover it with ice. Try not to wait too long; a maximum of two days.”