The 12 Dishes of Christmas #4

 Prawn Cocktail, a British Classic

We hope you’re enjoying this year’s GBC Festive Feast, with our ‘12 dishes of Christmas . We’ve got three courses to cover, and 12 dishes in total running up to Christmas, so yup you’ve guessed it, 4 days gone, 4 dishes in and we’ve only just reached the end of the first course!. This is our final starter on the menu, and it’s a British classic; the prawn cocktail.

A photo of prawn cocktail
A Classic Prawn Cocktail

We’ve chosen this dish because we think it represents a very British celebration meal. A 70’s classic that went out of favour for a long time, it has seen a revival in recent years. Although thought of by many as a very British starter, it actually has very different origins. Its’ creation has to be credited to America, with the presentation in a Martini or wine glass dating back to the prohibition era.

The Prawn Cocktail is a great representation of the British festive, or celebratory feast. It’s a link to our recent history and a fun way of nodding to our ‘less inspired’ ideas of high end cooking.


24 raw tiger prawns, peeled, de-veined, but tail section of shell left on
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 lime, juice only

For the sauce

300ml/10½fl oz passata
50ml/2fl oz hot chilli sauce (from a bottle)
tbsp wasabi paste (available in most supermarkets and Asian stores)
1 tsp caster sugar
25ml/1fl oz vodka
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

1 celery stick, very finely sliced

Preparation method

1.Drizzle the prawns with the oil and then place into a pan over a medium heat and fry for 2-4 minutes each side, or until pink and completely cooked through.
2.Add the sesame seeds and lime juice, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
3.For the sauce, mix the passata, hot chilli sauce, wasabi, sugar, and vodka together in a bowl and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4.To serve, spoon equal amounts of the sauce into six Martini glasses. Arrange four prawns hooked over the side of each Martini glass and place the finely chopped celery between the prawns.

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