It’s Spot Prawn season here on the West Coast of BC. You might ask what’s the big deal, I can get prawns any time of year. Well, I say you haven’t eaten a prawn until you’ve tried the BC Spot Prawn. These prawns are truly fresh at this time of year! Spot prawns are only available fresh off the boats for about 6-8 weeks starting in early May. So, now is the time to enjoy these tasty morsels fresh from the local fishing boats. Spot prawns are like no other prawn. They have a sweet flavour and delicate texture that makes them unique and scrumptious. They are a gorgeous pink colour and like their name, have a distintive spot on their shell near the tall. Even better, spot prawns are an ocean-friendly seafood choice. They are given the Green Best Choice by SeaChoice because they are trap caught with little habitat destruction and bycatch, fast growing and well-managed fishery. The West Coast will be celebrating these delicious morsels starting this Saturday, so you too can join in the fun at chef competitions, local restaurants and fish markets.
I like my spot prawns simply prepared to fully enjoy their delicate flavour and texture. Try them sauteed with a little olive oil, butter and minced garlic. Another favourite way to enjoy prawns is in sushi. Making sushi from scratch is a fun task to master, but can be a little time consuming. For my love of sushi and spot prawns, I was inspired to create a quick and easy sushi salad that I could make in the comforts of my own home. I dressed the salad with a sweet and tangy citrus dressing similar to Ponzu sauce that compliments the sushi flavours well.
2 cups brown rice
3-3/4 cups water
1 cucumber, quartered
1 carrot, coarsely grated
1 avocado, cubed
2 nori sheets, cut into cubes
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
4 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp soy sauce or low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 to 1 pound of fresh Spot Prawns, shells removed and tail left on
Combine water and rice in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat and simmer gently for about 45 minutes or until all water is absorbed. If serving this salad chilled, allow rice to cool slightly, and then spread rice out on a baking sheet and cool in the refrigerator. If serving warm, fluff with a fork and cover with a lid to keep warm.
In a serving bowl or platter, combine rice, cucumber, carrot, avocado and nori seaweed. If you like your nori seaweed crunchy, add it just before serving.
To make the dressing, combine orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar and brown sugar in a bowl. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Drizzle over salad and toss to mix gently. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Heat a little olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the spot prawns and saute until prawns are opaque and pink, about 2-3 minutes. Top sushi salad with sauteed spot prawns and enjoy.
For a vegetarian version, substitute the prawns for stir-fried tofu or edamame beans.