Shrimp…my love affair

Prawns, or shrimp as they’re referred to in my adoptive country, are on my ‘top-five’ food list.  I could eat them every day and not tire of them. This is speaking from experience…I’ve tried it…I still love them. I always will. This is a love affair that will never end. Although being land-locked for the last 13 years has tested the passion.

Out of desperation and longing for these scrumptious creatures I’ve resorted to cooking with the raw, frozen kind. These generally come from places as far away as Vietnam and Thailand and are sold in the freezer section of all groceries stores across this continent…without heads of course because apparently Canadians and Americans don’t like to eat anything with the head still attached.

Not long after setting foot on Canadian shores back in winter 2000, I discovered the ubiquitous shrimp-ring at a work Christmas party. To think these poor creatures gave their lives to become rings of frozen appetizers. Sacrilege. Thankfully for those who like to partake though, some bright spark came up with the idea to serve a bowl of cocktail sauce dip in the middle of said “shrimp ring” thus adding some flavor to the otherwise watery, sponge-like blandness.

Happily I get to visit the ocean from time to time. Just recently I was back in my native land where fresh seafood is abundant. Including prawns. And I ate lots of them. Without guilt. They’re very low in fat and calories; cook-up lightening fast-making them a dream for busy cooks like myself, and they’re as versatile as the humble chicken…although a lot prettier.

Wandering through the Sydney Fish Markets I once again fell in love with these beautiful crustaceans. Big, heaping mounds of raw and cooked prawns, shrimp or what ever you like to call them, were everywhere. Predictably I cooked and ate more than my fair share.

As beautiful raw as they are cooked… raw tiger prawns

raw tiger prawns

raw tiger prawns

Cooked tiger prawns…

cooked tiger prawns

cooked tiger prawns

I was fortunate enough to have taught cooking classes at the Sydney Fish Markets. If you’re ever in Sydney, make sure you visit. It’s the second largest of its kind in the world.

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