Add Oomph To Your Prawn Cocktail With Wasabi Paste

Photo: Claire Lower

Depending on when you began to care about food, you may think the prawn cocktail passé, but it seems to be experiencing a (possibly ironic) resurgence. (Though, in my mind, the prawn cocktail never went away; it was us who strayed.)

It’s a simple dish that requires two things. First, the prawns must be purchased fresh, cooked with care and chilled thoroughly. Then there is the sauce.

There are two types of cocktail sauce, British and American, and I will be talking about the sweet, tangy, horseradishy American version. Though I have nothing against the mayo-heavy British prawn cocktail (and prawn cocktail crisps, which are perfect in every way), my heart truly belongs to the its zesty American cousin. If I have one criticism of the American version, it’s that it doesn’t make my eyes water.

Whether made of green-tinted horseradish or not, nothing clears the sinuses quite like a big glob of wasabi. Combining traditional prepared horseradish with a few tablespoons of the paste gives my cocktail sauce a slightly different flavour profile along with head-rush inducing properties. You can add a few spoonfuls to your favourite cocktail sauce (homemade or store-bought), or you could use my recipe.

To make this super zesty, sinus-clearing, seafood dipping sauce, you will need:

  • 1 cup of tomato sauce (not homemade)
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons wasabi paste
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon pickled ginger brine

Add tomato sauce and horseradish to a bowl and stir.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and mix with a fork to create a wasabi-sambal slurry.

Add the slurry to the tomato sauce and stir until everything is completely combined.

Served with chilled, poached prawns, preferably with an ice-cold martini. For the most authentic experience, discuss the stock market, monogrammed polo shirts and yachts to curate the vibe of '80s decadence.

 


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