Arak prawns with garlic sauce and bread salad

Arak prawns with garlic sauce and bread salad

Matt Harvey

Matching prawns with anise is a rather French thing to do – although the French would be more likely to use Pernod, of course.

Bread salad


Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon ground sumac
1 small purple onion, finely sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1 bunch watercress
1 bunch radishes, trimmed and cut into wedges
1 piece arabic bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons clarified butter
12 king prawns
salt and pepper
60ml arak
100ml white wine
1 shallot, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
75g butter, cubed
salt and pepper
lemon juice, squeezed


  1. Soak the sumac in cold water for a few minutes and remove any husks that float to the surface. Put the sliced onion into a small bowl with the sumac and lemon juice and rub everything together well. Place in a mixing bowl with the watercress and radishes and leave aside to the last moment.
  2. Roll the Arabic bread into a tight roll and slice thinly. Heat the oil and butter and fry the bread until it is golden. Tip onto kitchen paper to drain.
  3. Cut the heads off the prawns and use a pair of scissors to trim off their legs. To butterfly the prawns, use a small, sharp knife to cut each prawn in half lengthways, through the underbelly, to the shell. Pull away the intestinal tract and then open the two halves out.
  4. Preheat a heavy-based frying pan to high. Season the prawns with salt and pepper and cook for 2–3 minutes until the shells turn pink and the flesh is cooked through. At the last minute, turn the heat up to high and splash in half the arak. Bubble for a moment then remove the prawns from the pan and keep warm while you finish the sauce. Add the wine and the rest of the arak with the shallots and garlic, and let it bubble away until the liquid has reduced by threequarters. Remove the pan from the heat and drop in the cubes of butter, whisking to make a smooth butter sauce. Season and add the lemon juice.
  5. When ready to serve, add the fried bread to the salad and toss everything together. Divide the salad between 4 plates, arranging it in a mound. Stack 3 prawns next to the salad and pour on the warm sauce.
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