Garlic Butter Spot Prawns

10 Jun

Considering that I have only been a Vancouverite for just over 2 years, there are still things that I am continuing to learn about BC as time goes on. Something that I became aware of last year but only really got to experience this year is the annual Spot Prawn season. Every year in May, for a period of only about 80 days, BC food lovers are treated to the succulent taste of fresh Spot Prawns. This year marked my first Spot Prawn season and I wanted to be ready for it. For weeks, I continuously visited the Lobster Man on Granville Island, eagerly awaiting their arrival.

You would have thought that once I heard the news that they were for sale that I would have been ecstatic. This was, after all, what I had been waiting for! Unfortunately, once the season started I was faced with two small dilemmas that I had overlooked in my anticipation. The first dilemma was that the Spot Prawns were sold ALIVE!! (Gasp!) Now, although I classify myself as a foodie I do try to avoid cooking things that are still alive. Up until this point, I’ve never had to be that person who lowers little critters into boiling water. I am a huge animal lover so I find this awfully cruel but the food lover in me knows what a delectable taste prawns (and crabs and lobsters) offer. It took me awhile to come to terms with the fact that I would be the one responsible for boiling these defenceless little guys. 😦

Getting ready for their "hot bath"

My second dilemma was that I didn’t really know how to cook them as I tend not to cook seafood at home. A guy at the store where we bought them from had a long and drawn-out recipe, which entailed that the prawns be steamed for 8 minutes…this seemed a little excessive to me. A bit of internet searching came up with a simpler recipe with a much shorter cooking time. Second dilemma solved.

B and I purchased our Spot Prawns from Whole Foods as it was close to home. This way the little guys wouldn’t have much time to thaw out – they were stored on ice to lower their body temperature making them lethargic but still very much alive. We boiled up a big pot of water and I said my goodbyes. Honestly, I did find it very difficult to come to terms with the fact that we were the reason these animals were dying but I think it was a very important lesson to learn. I strongly believe that humans are increasingly becoming removed from their food sources. Many children, and adults for that matter, do not associate the packaged meat in the store with the animal that produced that meat. Watching the prawns go from being alive, to being cooked and then to being served on my plate, was a welcomed reminder of where food comes from and how valuable it is. Lesson learnt!

Ready to eat...delicious spot prawns

In the end, we boiled the prawns for just over a minute resulting in them being perfectly cooked. The meat was sweet and succulent and tasted incredible when dipped in the accompanying garlic butter. The reward of the juicy meat was definitely well-worth the effort (and the heartache).

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2 Responses to “Garlic Butter Spot Prawns”

  1. bellini valli May 14, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    Living in the injterior of BC it is not likely we will find the prawns live, but we will find them. I am off today in my search.

    • greedyguts May 17, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

      Good luck! They will be worth the effort.

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