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August 2006 Issue
Sautéed Alaska Spot Prawns
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!

This year’s trip to Alaska went well. Everyone in my party caught salmon, halibut and even a few trout and dolly varden. On the day before the others in my party returned home, I prepared a nice dinner for everyone and this month's recipe is one of the dishes I prepared.

First, a few words about Alaska spot prawns: These little creatures are the sweetest prawns you will ever eat. These aren't normally available in markets, but can be ordered from a variety of seafood processors in Alaska and shipped overnight to your location. You would be doing your dinner party a favor to order some of these tasty prawns.

Spot prawns are well suited to a variety of preparation methods, including tempura style, sauté, or civeche. The recipe below is simple, yet elegant. Of course you may use other types of prawns for this dish, but it just wouldn't be the same without using Alaska spot prawns.

Now, on to the recipe! Be well, and good eating!


Sautéed Alaska Spot Prawns

Alaska spot prawns are usually sold frozen, headless, in 1 pound vacuum sealed packages. The easiest way to thaw them is to immerse the entire unopened package in a sink of cold water for about 40 minutes. Typically, you will notice that spot prawns are reddish in color and there is a cluster of roe under the tail of the animal. This roe would typically be removed before preparing the prawns. I prefer to reserve the roe and use it for making a sauce or to accompany sushi. Alternately, you can add the roe to the sauté dish below.

I prepared this dish in a cabin with minimal tools and ingredients. The results were outstanding and there were no leftovers.

  • 1 lb Alaska spot prawns, thawed and shelled
  • 1/4 cube butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/8 cup white wine or champagne (optional)
Melt the butter in a skillet over low heat. Once melted, add the shelled spot prawns and stir several times during the cooking process so that they are evenly cooked on all sides, approximately 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the prawns. Also add the wine, if desired. You may also add the roe to the skillet at this time (optional). Stir for an additional 1 minute and then transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with the chopped parsley for a delightful presentation and serve immediately.

This dish can be prepared as a main course or as a side dish.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

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