BC spot prawn season launched May 5, with the highly-anticipated BC Spot Prawn Festival on Granville Island. But the fun ain’t over yet. Considered the Christmas for foodies, or the climax of West Coast seafood, BC Spot prawn season continues for the next 6-8 weeks.
There are two ways for giddy diners to max out spot prawn season. Settle in and enjoy a Vancouver chef’s spot prawn tasting menu. Or buy fat, fresh prawns and cook them up at home. Many Vancouver chefs, who’ve been experimenting with spot prawn perfection for years, have shared their secrets.
Here’s a list of Vancouver restaurants where one can gorge on course after course of succulent spot prawns, reinterpreted. And a few spot prawn recipes for the homebodies.
Vancouver Restaurants with Spot Prawn Tasting Menus
$70 a head will get you five courses from a well-established sustainable seafood destination with waterfront views. The menu includes spot prawn bisque with crisp prawns and citrus dust, poached spot prawns and egg with truffles and tomato horseradish, and prawns in garlic brown butter with crisp potato chips.
At Yew, the three-course sport prawn menu is available for lunch and dinner. Dishes include spot prawn gazpacho (heirloom tomatoes, pickled fresco cucumbers and Northern Devine creme fraiche), spot prawn and scallop ceviche with jalapeno pearls, and an upgraded surf ’n turf: spot prawns on a 12 oz. ribeye with new potatoes, peas and red wine glaze.
Hidekazu Tojo, Vancouver’s sushi rock star who’s claim to fame is inventing the California roll, lightly boils/steams spot prawns, serving them with a dipping sauce (½ cup dark soy sauce, ¼ cup rice vinegar, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, green onions). You’ll also find spot prawns as sweet sashimi and served in prawn cakes.
Both locations of Provence Restaurants (Mediterranean Grill in Point Grey and Marinaside in Yaletown) have patios and are featuring special (and different) three-course spot prawn menus (priced at $48) for the season. The Mediterranean Grill’s menu features spot prawn salad, simply prepared steamed spot prawns, a version of surf ‘n turf with AAA beef tenderloin and flambéed spot prawns.
Over at Marinaside, the Yaletown location, Chef Jean-Francis Quaglia has cooked up a menu that highlights the spot prawn in such dishes as poached BC spot prawns with yellow tomato gazpacho, spot prawn duo (grilled and Provençal style) and Lois Lake Steelhead with spot prawns. Both locations recommend ending with the acclaimed lemon tarte.
Spot Prawn Recipes from Vancouver Chefs
While simply prepared spot prawns (tossed on the barbecue and served with lemon wedges) are out of this world, here are a few fun recipes to take it up a level at home.
BC Spot Prawn Bisque with Dungeness Crab by Edible Canada
Spot Prawns with Fava Beans, Bacon Lime Ravioli, Black Bean Puree by C Restaurant
Spot Prawn “Corn Dogs” with Garlic Aioli by Tableau Bar Bistro in Loden Hotel