It’s one of the mostly heavenly times of year to live in BC–spot prawn season!
Usually running from early May until the end of June, spot prawns are one of the more sustainably fished species in BC’s waters. They’re very closely managed in terms of catch and fishing techniques, and are recognized by the David Suzuki Foundation’s Seachoice program as a Best Choice and the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program as Green. These succulent little creatures taste all the better for being relatively guilt-free.
If you’ve never tried them (and you really should–go now, I’ll wait!), spot prawns are firm and meaty in texture, while delicate and sweet in flavour. They turn a vibrant pinkish-red when cooked and are incredibly versatile. My absolute favourite way to eat them is fresh off the grill, just as they are, with no embellishments other than a glass of rosé.
However, if you want to make a more substantial meal, try this simple but deeply pleasing dish:
Spot Prawn Tacos with Mango Salsa
2 mangos, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced small
Handful of cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
Pinch of ground cumin
Small corn tortillas (2-3 tacos per person
Spot prawns, shelled and deveined (2 prawns per taco)
In a bowl combine the mangos, onion, cilantro, lime juice and ground cumin. Mix well and set aside.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, dip each side of each tortilla into the oil for a few seconds to soften them. Drain on a paper towel and keep warm until you’re ready to serve.
Grill the prawns until they turn bright pink. Take care not to overcook them or they will get tough.
Top each tortilla with a couple of prawns and a generous spoonful of mango salsa.