Vancouver’s Spot Prawn Festival Founders Share Recipes


BC Spot Prawns

With all the upcoming delicious-sounding events taking place during the Spot Prawn Festival, we couldn’t help but wonder – can we make these prawns at home? Founders Chef Robert Clark shared his Spot Prawn Sunomono recipe and Chef Ryan Bissell tells us how to prepare his Spot Prawns with Chorizo and Cheesy Polenta.Chef Robert Clark is an author, co-owner of The Fish Counter, and sustainable seafood guru. Rob helped to grandfather the sustainable seafood movement in Canada. Here’s his favorite recipe when it comes to preparing these treasures from the sea:

spot prawn sunomono

Chef Robert Clark’s Spot Prawn Sunomono

Spot Prawn Sunomono (serves 4 as an appetizer)

  • 1 pound spot prawn tails, 12 to 15 tails
  • 1 whole long English cucumber
  • 250 ml sunomono dressing
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 250 ml ponzu jelly

For the Spot Prawns:

Lay the spot prawns out into a shallow baking dish. Pour over boiling salted water and poach for 30 seconds to one minute depending on the size of the prawns and weather they have the heads on or not. Tails cook quicker. Cool quickly on ice, and refrigerate. Peel one hour before serving. Cover with sauce (recipe below) and garnish (recipe below)

Ponzu Sauce:

  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin

Mix the ingredients and place in the fridge.

For the Garnish:

Using a mandolin, and its medium size teeth, slice the cucumber by starting at one end and working your way down the length of the cucumber creating a julienne. Remove the teeth from the mandolin and continue by slicing the radishes into thin circles, and place in ice water to crisp up.

Chef Ryan Bissell, is a graduate of Dubrulle Culinary School, who went on to become executive chef of the Roundhouse Restaurant, senior corporate chef for the Boathouse Restaurants, and most recently Bearfoot Bistro (Whistler). Ryan is the co-chair of the Spot Prawn Festival. His recipe for spot prawns? Right here.

spot prawn polenta

Chef Ryan Bissell’s Spot Prawn Polenta

Spot Prawns with Chorizo and Cheesy Polenta (serves 4)


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ pound butter
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • ½ cup grated white cheese
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme

Prawns and Chorizo:

  • 20 prawn tails with the shells off
  • 200 grams of dry cured chorizo diced small =
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 100 ml red wine
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 red pepper, small diced
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 1 pint cherry tomato, cut in half
  • ½ bunch Italian parsley

For the Garnish:

  • 100 g shaved Parmesan
  • 20 leaves of fresh parsley

To Prepare the Polenta:

Mix the stock and milk and heat to a simmer, add the fresh thyme and let it infuse for 5 minutes. Remove the thyme and very slowly add the cornmeal while stirring constantly over low heat, this should take 5-10 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Add the butter and cheese and keep the polenta warm until prawns are ready.

To Prepare the Prawns:

In a large frying pan heat the olive oil and add the chorizo, garlic and shallots and prawns together over medium high heat, cook for 3 minutes and remove from the pan. Put the pan back on the heat and add the wine, tomatoes, red pepper and corn. Cook until the tomatoes start to render and then add the prawns and chorizo back into the pan and warm for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the chopped parsley.

To Assemble the Dish:

Spoon the polenta into a bowl, if the polenta is too thick add more milk reheat. Spoon 5 of the prawns and tomato mixture over the polenta. Garnish with shaved Parmesan and whole parsley leaf.

The Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia is a chef-administered, province-wide collaborative dedicated to creating a foundation for the exchange of information between culinary professionals. We support innovative and sustainable programs that will inspire, educate and nurture our chefs, our producers and our local food industry, all the while promoting standards of excellence with the aim of enhancing the reputation of our regional cuisine.

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