B.C. spot prawn season 2021: Dishes for dine-in, delivery, and pickup, plus festival fun

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      It’s spot prawn season in British Columbia.

      This year, the live season began on May 15 and it’s only expected to last for about 30 to 40 days this time around (normally it lasts from about six to eight weeks). So the time frame for enjoying these delicacies are even shorter than usual.

      For spot-prawn lovers, here are some options to consider for purchasing (including pickups or delivery) or dining out, as well as what to expect from this year’s festival.

      Jenice Yu

      Prawn pickups

      While Fresh Ideas Start Here (FISH) offers spot prawns at its Vancouver (2959 West Broadway) and Burnaby (180–7515 Market Crossing) stores, it is also launching pop-up sites in White Rock and Richmond.

      Customers can pre-order live B.C. spot prawns online for pick-up at Park N Prawn sites.

      For pick up from Uli's Restaurant (15023 Marine Drive) in White Rock tomorrow (May 22), orders must be placed before 9 p.m. tonight.

      Orders can also be picked up from FISH’s headquarters (11551 Twigg Place) in Richmond, beginning tomorrow.

      Those who live in Metro Vancouver but are unable to pick up their orders themselves can pre-order spot prawn tails from local online grocer Legends Haul for a limited time (for delivery on May 28).

      Glowbal Restaurant

      Prawns aplenty

      For those who prefer to eat prawns prepared by chefs, Glowbal Restaurant (590 West Georgia) is serving ½ pound spot prawns with garlic butter and grilled lemon for lunch and dinner ($34) and happy hour ($29).

      Meanwhile, Coast (1054 Alberni Street) is serving four featured dine-in dishes for its Spot Prawn-Palooza (until the end of the season):

      • spot prawn ceviche, with calamansi, coconut, and serrano chillies;
      • pan-seared crispy garlic spot prawns, with chillies, soy, and lime;
      • spot prawn poke, with sushi rice, avocado, mango, and soy-chilli sauce;
      • grilled spot prawns (with blistered baby tomatoes, poblano peppers, and smoked romesco).
      Coast Restaurant

      In addition to the above selections, diners at Coast can also opt for one pound of spot prawns with a bottle of Quails’ Gate Rosé for $75 during happy hour (2:30 to 6 p.m.).

      For those who prefer pickup or delivery (call 604-685-5010 or visit the website), the restaurant is offering three options for one pound of B.C. spot prawns:

      • pan-seared crispy garlic spot prawns, with chillies, soy, and lime;
      • grilled with lemon butter and salt;
      • steamed with white wine and beurre blanc.
      Provence Marinaside

      Flair français

      B.C. spot prawns are part of the featured winery series menu at Provence Marinaside (1177 Marinaside Crescent).

      This month’s menu includes a first course of chilled English pea soup with poached B.C. spot prawns (with buttermilk crème fraiche) or B.C. spot prawn and scallop crudo (with lime espelette dressing and sunflower sprouts).

      Choices for a second course include grilled and Provençal-style B.C. spot prawn duo with tagliatelle and zucchini ribbons in extra virgin olive oil or seared halibut and spot prawn duo with chicken oysters and spring vegetables.

      A selection of wines from Salt Spring Island’s Kutatás Wines are also available.

      The two-course menu is $66 per person, a two-course wine pairing is $25 per person, and a two-course petit wine pairing is $15 per person.

      In addition, one pound of grilled or steamed B.C. spot prawns is available to order at market price.

      For full details, visit the restaurant’s website.

      Leila Kwok

      Tojo's take

      Chef Hidekazu Tojo of Tojo’s Restaurant is offering his Japanese take on the delicacy.

      "Sweet, clean tasting with a crunchy texture, the prawns are a local delicacy and best prepared simply, with sushi rice as nigiri or lightly steamed or boiled,” Tojo stated in a news release. “In Japan, they are served during special celebrations; for me, the B.C. spot prawns symbolize the bounty and beauty of spring."

      The Tojo’s Spot Prawn Kit ($88, serves two) includes:

      • a half-pound of B.C. spot prawns, served with Tojo's special sauce and paired with a dish of medium-flavoured, lightly fried hake in breadcrumbs;
      • a vegetable chirashi bowl, with burdock root, wood ear mushroom, and asparagus;
      • a seasonal gommae of kale, swiss chard, and broccoli.  

      B.C. spot prawn nigiri are also available on the a la carte menu for $6 each.

      For orders, vist the restaurant website or call 604-872-8050.

      Spot Prawn Festival

      Fest fun

      The Chefs’ Table Society of BC (CTS) and the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association will hold their annual Spot Prawn Festival—through virtual means this year, of course.

      The 2021 edition includes frozen seafood chowder available from Organic Ocean (the Manhattan-style seafood chowder from Legends Haul is sold out), and an online list of recipes to browse through.

      There’s also an online event from 7 to 8 p.m. on May 29, hosted by CBC Vancouver News anchor Lien Yeung, which includes a cooking demonstration for a three-course meal, featuring Maenam chef Angus An (B.C. spot prawn salad with chilli jam), Naramata Inn chefs Ned Bell and Stacy Johnston (chilled wild B.C. spot prawn), and Aura Waterfront Restaurant and Patio chef Ken Nakano (barbecued B.C. spot prawns).

      Full details and tickets are available at the event webpage

      Proceeds from the festival help to support Chefs’ Table Society of B.C. initiatives, including culinary scholarships and the legacy project CTS Culinary Library.  

      Spot Prawn Festival
      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.