I am an absolute sucker for trying unusual ingredients.
With mixed success, I might add. But you won’t learn unless you try, right? Luckily, this past Christmas it wasn’t one of those times. These prawns were the absolute hit of our Christmas Day feast (when they were only supposed to be a side dish), and I cannot wait to make them again.
It really does combine everything right with an Australian summer. What would the sunny days be without a prawn or two? But instead of showing them no mercy on the barbeque, here we wrap them in tender blankets of katafi pastry, baked until just golden and the strands go all moreish and crispy.
I stumbled across the pastry itself in a greek delicatessen; whatever speciality Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern shops in your area you will likely find the same, as it has popular use across both regions. Using the pastry, following instructions to let it warm up a couple hours before use and to work quickly proved to be bang-on. Make sure you don’t leave it out uncovered though, as it will dry out and break apart when you try to use it!
Use the freshest prawns; most of the prep time is in shelling and deveining, but once that’s done and you have prepared the beauties, you can pop them back in the fridge and keep chilled ahead of time until it is time to bake – making them ideal dinner-party food. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce – sweet chili with coconut was our go-to. And you can bet you won’t be eating just one!
A delicious and impressive seafood dish as a snack or starter!
- 18-20 Large, raw prawns, shell-on
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 125 g Katafi pastry
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Heat oven to 220°C (430°F). Line two oven trays with non-stick baking paper. Season the beaten eggs with salt and pepper.
- Peel and devein prawns, leaving tails intact. To devein, use a small sharp knife to make a slit along the middle of the back to expose the dark vein. Pull out the vein with fingers or use tip of skewer to hook underneath and pull out.
- Place pastry in a bowl and loosen until strands are separated, light and fluffy. Combine oils and add to pastry; mix with fingers until pastry is evenly coated with oils.
- Place about a tablespoon of the pastry onto a clean board and stretch gently into a strip about 20cm long. Holding a prawn by the tail, dip it in the seasoned egg mix and then onto the pastry strip. Roll the strip around the prawn, then place it onto the prepared tray. Repeat with the remaining prawns.
- Bake for approx 12 minutes or until the prawns are lightly golden. Serve hot and fresh with your favourite dipping sauce!
Katafi pastry is available from specialist grocers and delicatessens, chilled. You should remove it from the fridge, covered, a couple of hours before you plan on using it, and then work quickly once you have begun to prevent it from drying out.
- Serving Size: 0
- Calories: 272
- Sugar: 0
- Sodium: 0
- Fat: 0
- Saturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 0
- Fiber: 0
- Protein: 0
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: prawns, seafood, greek, starter