Did you know that around 40% of Australian prawn consumption occurs over Christmas? At Sydney Fish Market alone, more than 130 tonnes of prawns are traded during the 36-Hour Seafood Marathon... We're going to need a bigger barbie!
While cooked Australian prawns are just perfect enjoyed as they are, peeled by hand, with a cold beer nearby, there's always room to try something new. Here are five ways to switch it up this Christmas.
Satay Udang (Prawn Satay)
Satay is famous across Southeast Asia, and especially popular in Thailand, for good reason! Who says you can’t enjoy them on Christmas?
They are the perfect entrée, and great for entertaining. Add peanut sauce for a delicious blend of sweetness and saltiness that even the kids will love (though you might want to hold the chilli).
This iconic 1970s and 80s dinner party entrée is back with a vengeance. It’s an ideal starter that will impress the whole family (even the in-laws!).
It traditionally consists of prawns in a cocktail sauce on a bed of iceberg lettuce. Marie-Rose, the classic cocktail sauce, is mayonnaise tinted pale pink with tomato ketchup (never the thinner, more acidic tomato sauce) and lifted with a little lemon juice and chilli (in the form of Tabasco or cayenne pepper).
Prawn San Choy Bow
While this popular Chinese dish is usually made with minced pork in Australia, who said we can't add prawns? It was traditionally made with pigeon meat, after all!
Another winner for big groups, your guests can spoon their own portions into lettuce leaves as they please, saving you from spending forever in the kitchen serving up individual plates.
Feel free to experiment with different vegetables too, such as bamboo shoots, baby corn, or oyster mushrooms… anything that will add texture.
Deep-fried Chilli Salt School Prawns
We wouldn’t blame you if you balked at the idea of eating prawns legs, head, tail, and all... But we promise that this dish will convince you of the method!
Deep-frying makes sure that every part of the prawn turns crispy, so that popping them into your mouth is just like eating potato chips (but tastier!).
Little school prawns are also extremely cheap – they were most often used as bait before immigrants taught us Aussies how good they could be when treated with a bit of love – and this is a great way to enjoy them without lots of fiddly peeling.
Prawn and Avocado Tacos
While not traditionally Christmas-y, these ‘tacos de camarones’ are great for a big festive gathering, because everyone can serve themselves and choose their preferred tidbits. Just arrange everything on the table buffet-style, and let your guests have at it!
It can get messy, so provide finger bowls or large serviettes… You can even thin the crème fraîche to the consistency of mayonnaise and put it in a squeeze bottle to make it easier to use, especially if you’ve got little kiddy fingers joining in.