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How to cook hot-smoked prawns

Published: 11-Jul-2013 (02:31); Viewed: 7164; Difficulty: 4 out of 10

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How to cook hot-smoked prawns
Hot smoking is a process of cooking food in a hot smoke produced by burning aromatic wood. Usually deciduous trees chipping like oak, cherry, alder and others are used for smoking. Additionally, the temperature of smoke is very important for the taste of the product. In this recipe we will use the hottest smoke possible and a short time to make juicy meat with a sharp smoked aroma.

Professional or semi-professional smokers are reasonably expensive and large, but it is possible to make one from a small standard bbq with a lid, which will be explained in this recipe as well.

In this recipe I will explain how to cook hot-smoked prawns, as smoking is one of the most preferable ways of cooking of large prawns as it allows the preservation of the beautiful texture and succulence of prawn meat.

step-by-step instructions

  1. Ingredients:
    • Large tiger prawns, with shell. The larger the better.
    • Sea salt
    • Dried wood for smoking. For example, cherry wood, as shown in the picture.

  2. Sprinkle the prawns with sea salt and leave them for 30 minutes for salting. It is not terribly important how much salt you must use, because salt will go into the prawn meat very slowly and the time is more important rather than amount. After 30 min of salting, wash the salt from the surface of the prawns.

  3. A few words about the smoker. It is possible to find a small drum barbecue with a tight lid on ebay for 10-15 pounds only. Separate the bottom half-drum with 10-15 layers of foil into a small section for charcoal and a large section for cooking. It is easier to start the charcoal with a barbecue chimney starter and for one smoking it is enough to have charcoal from one chimney.

  4. Fill the small section with red-hot charcoal and place the tiger prawns on the mesh on the other section. If you don’t have enough space, stack the prawns but separate the layers with bamboo sticks to make some small space between prawns - this allows the smoke to go over all the surfaces of the prawns.

  5. Add wood to the charcoal and tightly close the lid. Open one ventilation hole near the smoked food and one ventilation hole near the charcoal, to allow the air to go from the atmosphere through the charcoal and wood to the smoked meat and get released to the atmosphere again.

    Occasionally, check on how they’re cooking and turn the prawns if they change colour unevenly. They should become solid once fully cooked. In total, the overall smoking time is around 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.



tips and tricks

  • The exact time of cooking is related with the distance to the charcoal, the temperature of the charcoal, the overall size of the smoker and many other parameters, and it is impossible to tell in advance the exact cooking time. Therefore, you should check the progress of the prawns during smoking.
  • Do not overcook!!!
  • Never ever use liquids or solid fuel to start the charcoal – the very short time of cooking will not be enough to remove all the smell from the lighting liquid.
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tags: shrimps; smoked food

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