Wild-caught spot prawns are incredibly sweet, reminiscent more of lobster than of the shrimp you might typically find at your local fish counter — hence, their reputation as the “lobster of Alaska.”
Since spot prawn season is relatively short, lasting a couple of months, you’ll want to extract every delicious drop of flavor you can from the prawns to use in recipes. That means you ought to make a stock from the spot prawn shells, which is easy to do. Check out our blog post on how to make spot prawn stock.
Once you’ve gotten that made, you can use the stock in practically any recipe where you’d normally use a seafood stock. Keep in mind that since spot prawns are so flavorful, they don’t need much culinary fanfare to taste good — so we suggest you stick to recipes that complement the prawns by allowing their flavor to shine through. But really, you can use it however you like.
For some serious spot prawn inspiration, here are 6 dishes that you can make that will put your spot prawn stock to great use:
Tomato and Spot Prawn Soup
Edible Alaska’s recipe for tomato and spot prawn soup might seem a bit basic when you look at the ingredient list — essentially, it’s composed of tomatoes, onions, celery, and cream — but trust us when we insist that it’s going to blow your expectations out of the water. Using spot prawns, as well as their stock, will transform a humble tomato soup into a fine first course.
Spot Prawns, Fennel and Feta in Pernod Butter
We’re taking our cues from Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe for pan-cooked prawns with fennel, feta, and a Pernod-infused butter sauce. You’ll just want to make a few adjustments: Swap out the “king prawns” in his recipe for 16 ounces of peeled spot prawns. And since you’ll be using spot prawns whose heads have already been removed, make sure to use prawn stock instead of the veggie stock that the recipe calls for to boost the prawniness of the overall dish. Keep in mind that while this dish comes together quickly, you’ll want to plan ahead so that the prawns and feta have plenty of time to marinate.
Spot Prawn Risotto
This herbaceous spot prawn risotto from Nourished Kitchen is a perfect summer dish, with its citrusy dose of mellow Meyer lemon zest and juice. For this recipe, swap out the chicken stock for prawn stock. If you don’t quite have enough prawn stock to fulfill what the recipe calls for, just top things off with some water.
Spot Prawns and Polenta
This recipe from Guilty Kitchen will level up your shrimp and grits beyond your wildest dreams. Sweet, wild spot prawns poised atop a pillow of good-quality polenta will taste almost like dessert. Again, use spot prawn stock rather than chicken stock to make this dish even more delicious than it’s already designed to be.
White Fish Poached in Prawn Stock
This is a no-recipe recipe that is infinitely adaptable, depending on what you have in your kitchen. And you don’t need to have fresh spot prawns on hand to make this dish — just frozen prawn stock stored in your freezer.
In a shallow pan, simply bring to a simmer enough prawn stock to nearly cover a fish fillet of your choice, adding in an aromatic ingredient or three: coarsely chopped carrots, a crushed clove of garlic, a quarter of an onion, a couple coins of ginger, a handful of fresh herbs. A dash of milk, wine, soy sauce, or even high-quality vinegar is a nice, optional touch. The stock will gently poach a fillet like cod or halibut until the fish flakes easily with a fork, all the while becoming a delicious broth to serve with the fillet and toast points.
Spot Prawn-Enhanced Ramen Broth
Even if you’re not using spot prawns in your bowl of homemade ramen, you can make a delectable ramen broth with prawn stock.
The Chicago Tribune suggests making a “shortcut” ramen broth by simmering a quart of store-bought stock (veggie, chicken, or seafood) with 2 tablespoons of mirin and miso paste, a teaspoon or two of soy sauce, and a couple slices of ginger. Easy! But instead of using an entire quart of store-bought stock, use prawn broth in the mix; you can do half-chicken-half-prawn, fish stock fortified with a cup of spot prawn stock, whatever ratios or combinations make sense to you based on what you have available.