Imperial prawns with chocolate-orange sauce


Seafood with chocolate? This is adapted from a spanish recipe for Langostinos en chocolate (prawns in chocolate). I’ve used the tails of what’s known as mazzancolla (Imperial prawn) in Italy. Same smell, but what I’ve done differently is to dip the prawns in beaten egg and roll them in panko before frying. The added crunch of the panko gives a nice texture and look, and the sauce can be served separately.

1 pound large prawn or tiger shrimp tails (the largest that you can find)
2 cloves garlic, minced fine or put through a garlic press
1 large orange, juiced
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
Bamboo skewers
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into pieces

1. Remove shells (leaving the tails on) and dark vein from each shrimp by making a shallow slit down the back. Place in a single layer in a large dish.
2. Whisk together the minced garlic, orange juice, ginger, a good pinch of salt and ground black pepper in a bowl. Pour this over the prawns and marinate for about 1/2 hour.
3. Heat vegetable oil to frying temperature. Remove and drain prawns from marinade (reserving the liquid). Insert bamboo skewer along the length of each tail. Dip into the beaten eggs then coat with panko. Carefully dip into hot oil and fry on all sides until golden. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
4. Simmer the reserved citrus marinade in a small heavy pot until reduced by half. Turn down the heat source to its lowest setting and stir in the chocolate until completely melted and just begins to slightly thicken. Remove from heat.
5. Arrange the prawns on a bed of shredded lettuce or spinach leaves and ladle the sauce over all or serve on the side. Makes for an interesting antipasto.


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