This totally awesome Retro Prawn Salad is perfect for the warm weather and even better when you have a crowd around. Mango salsa and Prawns are a match made in 80’s heaven, so plan on inviting a crowd around to tuck into this amazing salad.
This recipe was inspired by a recent restaurant popup in Sydney. Blue water Grill restaurant was where one of our best known chefs, Neil Perry first made his mark. Even though it closed in the late 80’s, many people have longed for the old Blue Water Grill days. The food was a unique Asian fusion that relied heavily on the quality of the ingredients rather than how much they were tampered with. Neil changed the way we cooked and ate.
His bold combination of Asian flavours and twists on classics was the start of a new freedom for many Australian chefs.
When it was open here in Sydney I was travelling. When I returned I worked in various restaurants with ex- Bluewater Grill alumni. Everyone was cooking like Neil Perry. Years spent working in US restaurants meant very little. It became clear that learning this new Asian fusion Australian food, was compulsory here to be taken seriously.
Don’t just stick to steamed Prawns though, because this salad can be easily adapted. Try it with BBQ prawns or squid and if you don’t like seafood try it with chicken too!
- 1 kg prawns cooked, peeled
- 50 gm Spanish onion cut fine, washed *
- 200 gm lenbanese Cucumber sliced into thin rings
- 1/2 lettuce, iceberg is suitably retro
- 2 baby cos lettuce centre leaves
- 50 gm rocket baby
- 3 whole avocados
- 500 gm mango 1 or two large
- 1 kg tomatoes firm but ripe
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 150 ml lemon Juice 4 or 6 approximately
- 2 tablespoons sugar caster
- 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 Tablespoons coriander ROOTS and stems chopped
- 2 tablespoons coriander Leaves, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 50 gm peanuts dry roasted and unsalted
- Peel the Prawns and put in the fridge till needed.
- Next make the salsa. A fine strainer and a bowl will help with making this salsa. **(1) Pour 250 ml of boiling water over the diced Spanish onion. Stir for 1 minute and then drain off the water and discard it. Put the onion into a medium sized bowl. Next prepare the tomatoes. Quarter them and cut out the seeds and pulp leaving just the tomato quarters. Put the seeds and pulp into the same strainer. The pulp and seeds will be part of the salsa dressing. **(2) Press the juice out of them. ( You will need about 3/4 to 1 cup). Then cut them into even sized dice (big or small your choice)
- Add the chopped tomatoes to the onion. Next cut the mango into chunks or dice and add that too along with lightly chopped coriander leaves (as much or little as you like).
To finish the salsa
- To finish the dressing, very finely chop 2 or 3 washed coriander roots **(3) and add them to the tomato juice then add 150 ml of lemon juice, the sugar (don't skip- but replace with honey if needed), 1 Tablespoon fish sauce, garlic and salt. Stir well and add to the tomato and mango mixture.
- Let the salsa sit while you prepare the salad. Put the mixed lettuce into a bowl (or platter) add the cucumber. Cut the avocados ( I like big pieces where the centres can pool with salsa). Use a little of the salsa on the salad here. Add the Prawns. Dress further.
- Finish the salad with more coriander and **(4) roasted peanuts . Serve extra salsa with the salad and let everyone dress there own ( there is plenty of extra here).