Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –
I’d been meaning to try my hand at Nobu West‘s Dublin Bay Prawn Cocktail (p. 18,19). Since I already knew how to make the spicy lemon dressing and had gone through the experience of doing kushiyaki/skewers, I thought this might be a fun thing to do as an appetizer to an entree of pan fried sawara with garlic wasabi pepper sauce and blanched broccoli.
The interesting feature here was to cook the shrimp in my countertop oven in broiler mode. As Nobu West advises:
It is essential that you get the grill or broiler really very hot so the shellfish cook quickly. However be sure they don’t get overcooked, or they become….tough in a matter of seconds.
The online recipe for the Dublin Bay Prawn Cocktail can be found here:
So, to do this, I preheated my countertop oven to 475 degrees, while I prepared 8 large shrimp (shelled,
deveined and cleaned) and skewered from tail-to-head. I put them on the oven’s rack after seasoning
them both sides with 3-fingered pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix. Although the recipe called from oiling the shrimp, I thought I’d skip that step since the spicy lemon dressing had grapeseed oil in it.
The key to broiling the shrimp was to have it as close to the heating element as possible in the countertop oven. Nobu West recommends cooking it for about 2 to 3 minutes. It appeared to be just done after two minutes.
And so 4 skewers went into each ‘martini’ cup as did 5 tablespoons of spicy lemon dressing.
My wife was startled how easily this appetizer could be put together.
Personally, I like this way of preparing shrimp. No muss, no fuss of pan frying, or blanching. A nice simple bright sauce to complement the taste of the shrimp.
Nobu West comments that Dublin Bay Prawns are actually ‘langoustines’ (a member of the lobster family) with a flavor like that of the very best lobster. That being said, Ming Tsai comments that rock shrimp has a delicious lobster-like flavor (Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking, pg. 8). I think when I do this again, I’d pay a call to Captain Mardens in Wellesley to see when they have it available.