Thursday 21 November 2019

Salad of Dublin Bay Prawns With radishes and fennel

This is a recipe from the Fern House Café. We are adamant (despite the expense) that Dublin Bay prawns are used in this dish -- Asian tiger prawns, often of dubious provenance, are rubbery and not sweet enough. And it's that sweetness, in contrast with peppery radishes, that is the genius of this dish. Be careful not to overcook -- barely two minutes will do it.


30 large Dublin Bay prawns, allow 5 per person

Sea salt

15g butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 small fennel bulbs, cut in half, core removed and sliced very thinly

Some fennel or dill fronds

8 radishes, very thinly sliced

For the dressing:

3-4 tbsp olive oil

Juice of a lemon

A little Dijon mustard

Pinch of caster sugar

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 limes, halved (for the garnish)


To cook the prawns, bring a saucepan of water with a generous amount of salt to a rolling boil. Add the prawns to the boiling salted water, cook for 2 minutes, no more or they will be overcooked. Drain immediately. Spread the cooked prawns onto a flat plate or tray to stop further cooking as they cool, before peeling.

Next, in a non-stick frying pan, melt the butter and olive oil. Add the peeled prawns and a little sweet chilli jam and warm for 1-2 minutes, turning occasionally.

To make the dressing, combine the ingredients in a jam jar. Seal and shake.

To make the salad

In a bowl mix together the sliced fennel, herbs and radishes and season. Lightly dress with a little of the lemon dressing.

To serve, pile the dressed salad on a plate and gently place the warmed prawns in the centre. Garnish with the lime and some fennel or chilli. This is delicious with a bowl of mayonnaise and some brown bread.

Wine match Nothing says summer like a glass of rosé. Tours des Gendres rosé, from Bergerac, is made from the cabaret sauvignon grape. It picks up the sweetness of the fennel and the prawns.

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