Grilled Tiger Prawns with Calabrian Chili, Mango Salsa, Arugula and Grana Padano from Chef Deseree Lo

Chef Deseree Lo shared this delicious recipe for Grilled Tiger Prawns with Calabrian Chili, Mango Salsa, Arugula and Grana Padano. She is the Catering Chef at Blank Canvas Catering, a division of the Joseph Richard Group, and a contestant on the last season of the show Top Chef Canada.

Photo by: Dez Lo

Grilled Tiger Prawns with Calabrian Chili, Mango Salsa, Arugula and Grana Padano

Serves 1

Ingredients:

Prawn & the marinade:

– 2 pieces Raw Tiger Prawns, deveined and shells removed 1 tsp calabrian chili paste

– 1 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil pinch salt & pepper

For the Mango Salsa:

– 1 small ripe mango, skin off & small diced

– ½ small red onion, small diced

– 1 roma tomato, seeded & small diced 1 tbsp chopped cilantro

– ½ tsp cumin

– ½ tsp smoked paprika

– ½ fresh lime juice

– salt & pepper to taste

For the Salad:

– 1 cup wild arugula salad (or any market greens)

– ½ fresh lemon juice

– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

– 1-2 tbsps grated grana padano (or parmesan) salt & pepper to taste

Garnish:

– Sliced radishes Chopped Cilantro Lime Wedges

– Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

 

Directions:

1. Clean, devein and remove the shells from the tiger prawns (optional: remove the head and the tails, but the head is the BEST PART!). In a small bowl, mix chili paste, oil and seasoning together and gently coat the prawns with the marinade. Set aside in the refrigerator until grilling time.

2. Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss well. Check seasoning.

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3. Remove the prawns from the refrigerator and season with salt and pepper. Make sure the grill is hot and grill on each side of the prawn until the colour turns red and opaque, about 3 minutes per side.

4. While the prawns are cooking, in a small bowl, dress and toss the arugula with the fresh lemon juice, olive oil, cheese and seasoning. Add more lemon juice if you like more acid.

5. On the large plate or bowl, spoon the mango salsa on the bottom and place the prawns on top. Definitely can put a little more salsa on the prawns if you wish! Place the salad on the side and garnish with some sliced radishes, chopped cilantro, lime wedges and freshly cracked black pepper.

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Grilled Tiger Prawns
Photo credit: Food Network Canada

My name is Deseree Lo, and I was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Taiwan and lived in New York City for 20 years before moving to Vancouver in 2015. I love cooking anything that reminds me of happy times and places. I don’t like to confine myself to cooking just one type of food or cuisine. I like to fuse and combine different cultures, flavours and dishes.

Food has always been a huge part of my childhood, eating Sunday lunch and dinner at my grandma’s. Moving to New York City when I was 18 to attend college definitely further opened my eyes and horizon to International cuisines. When 9/11 happened, I realized life is really too short, and I also no longer enjoyed my career at the time so I decided to follow my passion and challenge myself. Reading the late Anthony Bourdain’s book, “Kitchen Confidential,” gave me a kick in that direction as well.

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My approach in the kitchen is just to cook from your heart and smell and taste with your soul. If it doesn’t give you goosebumps or make your palette and senses explode or tingle, then it’s not good enough. Cooking should be fun and experimental. Just don’t burn down your house.

Competing on Top Chef Canada was far beyond what I expected. Sure, we are there to cook and show the world what we are capable of, but to not lose your cool, to perform under extreme pressure and different circumstances each time is no child’s play. I really miss the adrenaline rush, and would do it all over again!