Recipe of the Week – Spot Prawns Montpellier

June is peak prawn poaching time.

Spot Prawn

Spot prawn season is here. To celebrate, this week’s recipe comes from chef Ben Kiely, instructor at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, and takes cues from his time living in Montpellier in the south of France. The stars of the dish, the prawns, are served both raw as quenelles and poached, providing contrast, while the seared mango and lime honey dressing add sweetness and layers of flavour to the dish. This recipe has quite a few steps, but the end result makes it all worthwhile.



Serves 4


16 spot prawns, cleaned and deveined

For the raw quenelles:

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon olive oil



For the poached spot prawns:

4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 lemon, sliced

1 bay leaf


For the seared mango:

1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into squares

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and espelette pepper

For the zucchini:

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper


For the lime, honey, and olive oil dressing:

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon honey (wild honey, available at specialty grocers, is preferred but not essential)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper




For the raw quenelles:
Finely chop 8 raw spot prawns.
Mix with lime juice, olive oil, and salt.
Form into quenelles (oval shapes) using two spoons.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the poached spot prawns:
Bring water, salt, lemon slices, and bay leaf to a boil in a saucepan.
Add the remaining 8 spot prawns and poach for 2-3 minutes until just cooked through. Do not overcook as they can become rubbery.
Remove the prawns and allow to cool.

For the seared mango:
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the mango cubes and sear until they get a slight char and caramelize, about 2-3 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the zucchini:
In a bowl, combine the diced zucchini, red onion, bell pepper, and basil.
Drizzle with the lime juice and olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

For the dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey, and olive oil.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:

On each plate, place a quenelle of raw prawn and 2 poached spot prawns.
Arrange the seared mango and zucchini beside the prawns.
Drizzle the lime, honey, and olive oil dressing over the prawns.
Garnish with additional basil if desired.