Difficulty Easy – Ready in 15 min.
4 purple prawns | A lime | 2 sprigs of thyme | 6 toasted hazelnuts | Extra virgin olive oil to taste
What we need: cutting board, cling film, meat tenderizer, bowl
1. We shell the shellfish. We clean the shrimp by removing the head, the carapace and the internal thread. Then let’s cut them exactly in half. We open a sheet of plastic wrap for food on the surface and we lay the shrimp next to each other.
2. Enclosed by film. We cover with a second sheet of film and press with our hands to make it adhere to the one below. With the help of a spatula, we try to eliminate the air left inside the film.
3. Like meat. Gently beat the prawns with a meat tenderizer (the pressure must not be excessive), trying to eliminate any air bubbles still present, until a compact and thin layer is obtained.
4. Let it cool in the freezer for 24 hours (or in a blast chiller for less time). After this time, the fish can be safely eaten raw, without any health problems.
5. We remove our prawns from the freezer, cut the ends of the film away with a knife and then gently remove them from both sides, being careful to remove it completely.
6. Place the fish “tile” on a plate: it will melt after a few minutes. To enjoy the beaten meat in an optimal way, season it with an emulsion of oil and lime juice and serve it with toasted hazelnuts and thyme.
A very special raw fish, a cold ’tile’ to taste
- Purple are those shrimp, similar to red, which have a purple tinge on the head. In taste, they are a cross between white and red prawns. The latter, for example, have a stronger and more important flavor, especially in the part of the head, while the purple shrimp has a much more delicate flavor.
- You can also find them frozen: they are still very good, but the price could be higher.
- When buying shellfish, we make sure that they are fresh (or frozen recently): they must not have black and showy spots on the tail or on the head and must be “beautiful” to see. In our case, the purple color must be really bright. Once the carapace has been removed, the interior must also be well colored and with live meat.
- We don’t throw anything away. When we shell the shellfish, we can use the heads to prepare simple spaghetti with oil, chilli pepper and a clove of garlic (even after freezing them). Furthermore, with the heads and carapaces we can make a fish cartoon.
The sommelier recommends
This dish recalls the bubbles. But we still chose an inexpensive wine, with an excellent quality-price ratio, from the Mantuan hills: a sparkling Colli Morenici, a classic method with refermentation in the bottle, perfect for enhancing the flavor of shellfish.