Crustaceans are creepy. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating them but do not like looking at them, especially when still alive. Place a 2lb bag of live prawns in my hand and watch me dance around like a child.
Last weekend marked the opening of the BC Spot Prawn season. Local chefs prepared fresh prawns for sampling and fishermen sold live prawns straight from the boat. For the remainder of the 8 week season, freshly caught spot prawns are available for purchase from the False Creek dock (just west of the entrance to Granville Island) after 1pm.
Joe attended the festival and came home with 2lbs, which we proudly called to tell me about. The man certainly loves his seafood. I came home late Sunday night to find he had prepared me a lovely spot prawn dinner. He even peeled my prawns for me.
Here is one of our spot prawn buddies, just before taking his hot bath:
The prawns are amazingly sweet and the flesh is slightly firm, yet tender. I couldn’t believe how enjoyable they turned out to be. And, as we would soon discover, simply prepared is the key. Drop the live prawns into a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds or until the first prawn floats to the surface. Drain and eat. Now, how’s that for a quick dinner?
Every day this week, Joe continues to mention the spot prawns and yesterday we gave in and headed over to the wharf. We arrived just after 1pm to find a handful of people waiting for the boat to arrive. As we waited, more people slowly arrived and we all began mingle. Before long, we were lost in conversation and had almost overlooked the overdue boat.
It was an interesting mix of people, all of them friendly and talkative. I learned that one of the women held the same graduate degree (MLS) as I did, so she gave me the scoop on the library field. One man admitted he comes from a family of gourmet chefs, yet doesn’t know how to cook. As you can imagine, he was filled with cooking ideas and plenty of advice before he left.
We eventually said our goodbyes and headed home with 2lbs of spot prawns. Joe remembered a recipe for grilling the prawns which he wanted to try. He also decided to try a few broiled with a bit of creamy cheese.
I’m sure the alarm bells are already going off in your minds (and should have in ours). Heavy flavorings, grilling, broiling … it ruined the texture and hid the wonderful sweet prawn flavor. My advice (as was the guidance from the folks at the dock) is to just boil them quickly, then eat.
No fanciness or fussiness required.