Favourite barbecue recipes from the Queen Victoria Market traders.
Barbecues and prawns. They’re the best of friends when it comes to a super tasty grilled barbecue dish.
In this month’s blog from BBQ Workshop, we make a beeline for one of Queen Victoria Market’s most prominent seafood traders, Gazza’s Gourmet Seafood (below). If anyone knows his crustacean species and their application to the fine art of barbecue, it’s Gary Rapley. King prawns, tiger prawns, redspot prawns, banana prawns… take your pick, they’re all great grilled over charcoal or a gas flame.
Firstly though, let’s tackle a few house rules. Any fishmonger worth their salt will be able to advise you on the best and freshest prawns available for cooking on their lonesome or for inclusion within a larger dish. For successful barbecuing, here are a few tips that make for a magnificent grilling experience.
- Allow the prawns to spend some time out of the fridge before cooking and if frozen, make sure they’re fully thawed out. Close to room temperature is about right, although be vigilant on a hot day as crustaceans can go off if left out for too long.
- Keep the marinades to a minimum. They should only serve to flavour the prawns, not overpower the already great natural taste. Treading lightly with a marinade will also prevent your crustacean stewing on the grill rather than cooking through properly. No one likes a soggy prawn!
- A medium flame on a gas grill or reducing the burning solid fuel to embers is best when cooking your average prawn/shellfish species. This allows the food to cook through without charring it to cinders.
- If using a wooden skewer, make sure to soak them for least 30 minutes or so before shoving them through your prawns. Once again, this method will prevent the skewer disintegrating before the seafood is cooked.
So now back to Gazza. One of his favourite recipes that combines the aforementioned amigos (BBQs and prawns) has been adapted from well known seafood chef and food writer Alice Doyle’s Fisherman’s Wharf Garlic Prawns. We know it’s a delicious dish because we cooked it up ourselves while writing this article!
Fisherman’s Wharf Garlic Prawns (with a twist)
- 500g green King prawns, shelled, cleaned and split.
- ½ tsp Smoked Yakima Applewood Salt (available from Gewuzhaus, housed in QVM’s Dairy Hall)
- 2 tsp crushed black peppercorns
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1 tbs brandy
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Extra Virgin olive oil
- Chopped parsley
For the marinade, combine the salt, pepper, garlic, lime juice and brandy. Add enough olive oil to make sure the ingredients will stick to the prawns.
Mix well in a non-reactive bowl, add the prawns to the mixture and place in the fridge for approximately 1 hour, making sure the bowl has a lid or is covered with plastic wrap.
Preheat the barbecue grill to medium, remove prawns from the bowl and grill until cooked through.
Remove the freshly cooked prawns from the grill, sprinkle with chopped parsley and a squeeze of lime or lemon. Serve with a good quality sourdough or crusty white bread.
And the best thing about thing about this recipe, apart from getting to chat to the ever-smiling Gazza? 99% of the ingredients are readily available from the market!