This recipe is a sweet taste of summer, sensationally juicy and briny. One of my favorite sea creatures to enjoy out of the freezer is wild Alaska spot prawns. Succulent and sweet, Alaska’s spot prawns cultivate their flavor in glacial cold waters.
Harvested in a sustainable fishery, Alaska’s spot prawns are the best of the best. Using pots to sit on the bottom on the seafloor, Alaska spot prawns are carefully harvested by small-scale independent commercial fishermen. Packed in a vinegar brine with a splash of olive oil, these Alaska spot prawns will keep in your refrigerator for a good week or two, marinating in the herby flavors of celery, fennel and dill.
Layers of thinly sliced lemon and red onions add flavor and good color. Enjoy straight from the glass jar or serve on toast, with creme fraiche and pickled beets. The ocean provides the world with one of our last truly wild foods. Learning new ways to preserve and celebrate the harvest honors the life wild Alaska seafood gives us.
- 1 lbs shell on, head off Alaska spot prawns (the spot prawns will be easier to peel after we boil them.)
● 1 ½ c White vinegar
● ½ c Water
● 2 T Olive oil
● ¼ t Whole fennel seeds
● ¼ t Celery seeds
● ¼ t Dill seeds
● ¼ t Yellow mustard seeds
● ⅛ t Black peppercorns
● ⅛ t Crushed red pepper flakes
● 2 Bay leaves
● ½ t Salt
For the jars:
● Thinly sliced red onion
● Thinly sliced lemon
● 2 Fresh whole garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1. In a small pot, bring vinegar, water, olive oil, spices, and salt to a simmer. Stir until salt dissolves. Set aside to cool.
2. Bring a 4 quart pot of salted water to a boil, you want it to be salty like the ocean. While the water is coming to a boil, prepare an ice bath with ice cubes in a big bowl. Once your pot of water reaches a boil, add spot prawns and cook just until the prawns float, just about 2 minutes. Once your prawns float to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon and plunge the prawns into an ice bath to cool.
3. After the prawns cool, peel the shells off, leaving the tails attached. Be careful when peeling Alaska spot prawns, these wild sea creatures have a tough armor for surviving the frigid depths of Alaska’s glacial fjords.
4. When both your spot prawns and pickling liquid have cooled, it’s time to pack it all into a jar to marinate together.
5. Layer spot prawns, lemon slices, garlic, and red onions into a large mouth jar. Pour your pickling liquid over the layers, letting the spices nestle in around the stacked ingredients.
6. Place the jar in your fridge and let sit overnight, giving time for the spot prawns to absorb the flavors of the pickling marinade.
7. Once chilled, use a fork to fish around the jar and pull up succulent spot prawns. Enjoy straight from the glass jar or serve on toast, with creme fraiche, pickled beets and fresh herbs.
8. The pickled spot prawns are good in your fridge for two weeks. Reach in there anytime for a salty, delicious bite.