How to Reduce your Prawn Food Waste
As almost a third of the food in the world is thrown away, Craig McKnight is passionate about reducing food waste. Craig tells us all the benefits of “nose to tail” eating with prawns.My view is that if you’re cooking an animal, you should try to use as much of it as possible. This tackles not only the issue of food waste, but since we are always told that the fish stocks are being overfished, it makes sense to use every part of this delicious ingredient!
The great thing is that the parts of the prawn that people throw away, such as the head or shell, are full of fantastic flavour if you know what to do with them.
Since prawns are so delicious, here are different ways to use the parts that people see as waste. I urge you to try all of these as they are utterly delicious!
Delicious ways to reduce food waste
Firstly, you can use the heads to make something called ‘prawn butter.’ Before cooking the prawns, remove the heads and scoop out the contents. Combine this with lemon juice and butter and then cook over a low heat. You can use this to either cook the prawns or alternatively use it as a sauce to spoon over the cooked prawns.
If you’re squeamish about that idea, how about crispy fried prawn heads? The great thing about this recipe is that you can freeze the prawn heads until you have enough to make a large batch. Simply remove the ‘feelers’ on the heads and then clean them in hot water. Separately mix together 100g of self-raising flour and ½ teaspoon of salt. Coat the prawn heads with the flour mixture and shake to remove the excess. Deep fry for 1-2 minutes and serve it with a tasty dip such as chilli or soy.
If you still can’t bring yourself to try that, use the shells and head to make a fantastic flavoursome soup. Shell the prawns, then fry the shells in the oil in a large pan for about 5 mins. Add chopped onion, fennel, and carrots and cook for about 10 mins until the veg start to soften. Pour in 150ml white wine and 1 tbsp brandy and boil for about 1 min to cook off the alcohol, then add a can of chopped tomatoes, 1 litre of fish stock and a pinch of paprika. Cover and simmer for 30 mins. Blitz the soup as finely as you can with a stick blender or food processor, then press through a sieve into a bowl. Spend a bit of time really working the mixture through the sieve as this will give the soup its velvety texture. Garnish the soup with prawns cooked in butter. Any excess can be frozen and used later. As a great cheat, you can freeze any extra in an ice cube tray, and pop them out later to be used as a flavour booster for a pasta dish, or a fish risotto.
So, before you thrown any part of a prawn away, remember what delicious dishes you can create, minus the food waste!
Written by Craig McKnight, a foodie currently living and loving life in Italy.