Elizabeth David’s Prawn Paste

Elizabeth David's Prawn Paste

Prawns have always held a special place in my life for being celebratory food.  Not cheap when I was living in Victoria, they were a treat that would be brought out at Christmas with my grandparents when I was a child.

These days they have turned into a celebratory food of another kind, if we can find them well priced then any excuse will do for us to share them with fresh oysters, a dash of balsamic vinegar, some fresh bread and butter and tons of champagne.  A very simple feast fit for a queen. Fortunately for us they are far more abundant here in Queensland than they were in my old homestate.

These seafood parties are one of the meals that helped me to get to know my other half and his family, it has been a ritual of kind when we would come together sometimes travelling from interstate just to be there.   Many wonderful memories, conversations and card marathons came from these meals and it reaffirms to me the value and importance that a shared meal can have on the relationships of the people in your life.

So why this particular recipe?  It appealed to me as something different, something new for me, cooking with prawns rather than buying them, boiling or pan frying them and eating unadorned.  I can count on one hand the times that we’ve bought raw prawns and they have been an ingredient in a decadent recipe.  Usually they tend to be devoured as they arrive into our home.

This time though I went specifically hunting for uncooked prawns to try this delicious sounding prawn pate and hit upon some monster tiger prawns fresh from the ocean.

Elizabeth David's Prawn Paste

Definitely use fresh lime juice in this recipe, make sure you crush your coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle before adding to the food processor and don’t forget the cayenne pepper (like I did!).  The key to this recipe is actually the fresh toast.  You could use french toast biscuits or lavosh in a pinch, but the crispy outside with the softer centre of fresh bread toasted to order really made the texture combination of this treat.

Whilst Jane Grigson explains in the recipe book that this used to be made by hand by the kitchen staff pounding away for hours to get the right texture, this is a recipe that really does require a food processor unless you are ambitious and have time to spare.

Serve with champagne or a chilled white wine next time you have friends around and want to impress, but make sure you eat it the day you make it as the lime juice starts to cook your prawns and it will make the meat tough if you leave it for too long.

click here for the recipe.

Elizabeth David's Prawn PasteElizabeth David's Prawn PasteElizabeth David's Prawn PasteElizabeth David's Prawn PasteElizabeth David's Prawn PasteElizabeth David's Prawn PasteElizabeth David's Prawn Paste

Given my complete inexperience with cooking with prawn meat I thought this recipe was a great candidate for the wonderful link up project that is called Our Growing Edge.  Check it out if you want to get involved in sharing your new foodie experiences or want to read about ours.

November 2013 hosted by Becky from My Utensil Crock


Happy Cooking and Happy Eating,



13 Comments Add yours

  1. ladyredspecs says:

    Mmmmm delicious!!! Xx


  2. What a fabulous idea – think I could make a meal out of this prawn paste.
    🙂 Mandy xo


    1. Leah says:

      It is pretty rich, so I’m inclined to agree, serve it with a salad and a lovely glass of wine…. plus you wouldn’t want to have any leftovers 🙂


  3. bitsofnice says:

    Oh yum! Will have to make this when husband is away (he is allergic to seafood!)….mmm I can taste it already!


    1. Leah says:

      Oh poor him, I can’t imagine not being able to eat seafood. This prawn paste was pretty tasty. I hope you enjoy it 🙂 Leah


      1. bitsofnice says:

        I know poor guy 😦
        On another note I have nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. I hope you don’t mind as I think not only your blog is awesome but you are such a lovely lady: http://littlebitsofnice.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/liebster-blog-award/


  4. Wow, those prawns are so fat and succulent! Isn’t it funny, we’re not far from Australia at all but we don’t have prawns here in New Zealand. Fresh prawns are a thing of beauty and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten them raw but if they were fresh, I would love to try them. Thanks for sharing this interesting recipe.


    1. Leah says:

      My pleasure. You know I didn’t know that about prawns in NZ. I do know you have some other seafood that is amazing like your scallops. My other half and his family continuously reminisce about catching fresh fish, scallops and mussels when they used to be in New Zealand.


  5. trixpin says:

    Scrummy. Whoop whoop for Elizabeth David! I love the look of those prawns – I’m a sucker for seafood 😉


    1. Leah says:

      Thank you! was a lovely little recipe that I’m going to have to try again, but this time remembering the cayenne pepper I think. 🙂


  6. nancy@jamjnr says:

    Prawn paste sounds really uninviting – thank fully the finished product looks a lot better!! It’s more of a pate I suppose.


    1. Leah says:

      LOL, you know Nancy, you’re right about the sound of the name… pate sounds much nicer and appropriate for the flavour and texture 🙂


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