Sunday, 25 December 2011

Prawn head guide

Christmas and seafood have grown closer over the years and the festive season is now as likely to be associated with prawns as turkey. Prawns are also really not that expensive compared with other seafood.

Kitchenslut once had a debate with a lady who claimed prawns were too expensive because of the waste, which is only true if you see your prawn heads as waste. Prawn heads make excellent material for stocks which can be used for such as rissotto or pasta sauces.

Prawn heads are good for you. Yes, prawn heads are an anti-oxidant super food! This makes prawn heads a perfect way to counter the damage from seasonal excess, so dont throw those prawn heads out!  The wastage of prawn heads must be enormous so Kitchenslut is on a mission to stop this waste!

Kitchenslut's prawn fisherman uncle was partial to sucking on his prawn head although this may not be considered appropriate ettiquette in some circles. However a quick guide to some ideas and recipes for prawn heads.

Prawn head powder is easy and should even be appropriate for the more squeamish gastronome. Just stick your heads in the oven to dy them out and then grind into a powder: "It really tastes like the dry powder version of sucking the juices out of a freshly cooked (prawn) head.". If you use your coffee grinder for the powder this may also add an interesting texture to subsequent coffee.

The Japanese could always be expected to do something spectacular with a prawn head including this sushi sweet prawn nigiri. The Koreans are also aware of their prawn heads. However, when it comes to Asia I think the Thais have it. Prawn heads are an essential ingredient for Tom Yum Goong soup.

Simon Leong demonstrates crispy prawn heads with salt, pepper and paprika. An excellent late night snack! The BBC is an interesting recipe for prawn head soup with oranges coriander and sesame.

Just this week Kitchenslut was enjoying the whitebait at Tha Fish while contemplating why there were no prawn heads on the menu. The answer is probably our cynical bogan culture amply demonstrated by 'oldboot' at the Ausfish website with a recipe for left over prawn head and stale garlic bread patte:
Take a quantity of cooked whole prawns of your preference, shell and eat the prawns saving the shell parts and the heads. set aside in the fridge.
On a different night order pizza in a deal with a garlic bread and drink of choice.

eat the pizza and drink the soft drink, save the garlic bread and the pizza crusts.

In a blender of food processor, blend up the prawn heads and shells until a thin paste with a little water...... add the garlic bread and piza crusts and continue blending till a smooth paste.

Turn out into a plastic food conatiner.........At this time the "mixture" should look and smell like some sort of party dip or patte....... I would not recomend eating it.

It is best if the plastic food container is nearly full to the top, put the lid on and freeze.
I have found this works as an excelent burley for bait fish, bream and so forth.

to use it turn the still frozen block out into a suitable burly container and chuck it over the side..........the burley container will need to be weighted as the block on its own will float........should last 30 to 40 minutes ( depending on size).

any old bread crusts cand be used, extra garlic can be added.

stay tuned for my "pilchard and left over rice surprise"
Oh dear! However for those who retain an aversion to prawn heads the website of Endeavour Prawns promotes their use as chook food. Heston Blumenthal recently experimented with feeding a goose to make it taste the way he wanted. Hmmm, I wonder what chicken fed exclusively on prawn heads would taste like?


1 comment:

Psych Tutor:Mentor said...

I had prawns for Christmas, as I do each year with family. Am researching how they are caught tho, cause although I buy from the local boat-to-store I need assurance that sustainable practices are in use.

If I decide to return to regular eating of prawns I am definitly taking up your tip for prawn head stock. I dated a TI young man years ago, he was fond of sucking out the heads too ~:-)

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