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Simon Gault's Prawn Tacos

 (Source: Image by Kieran Scott )

Image by Kieran Scott

Prawn Tacos

For more on Simon Gault's book, head HERE.

To watch Simon make this meal, click  HERE.

This is my very light, fragrant twist on the traditional Mexican dish, which I learnt to make after visiting Mexico for three months. Achiote is a spice with a unique taste, also used to dye clothes. It is particularly delicious with prawns but you could substitute rare beef or grilled chicken, if wished.

Makes 8
1 tbsp olive oil
8 taco shells or soft tortillas
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup coriander leaves

Tomatillo Sauce
1 bunch fresh coriander
250ml canned tomatillos, puréed (available at
1/4 small onion, roughly diced
1/4 tsp epazote (optional)
1/2 serrano chilli (Mexican chilli), coarsely chopped
salt to taste

Prawn Taco Marinade
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tsp achiote paste (available at
24 large prawn cutlets

2 ripe avocados
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
50g fresh coriander, chopped
1/2 large tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
lime juice to taste
chipotle Tabasco to taste
salt to taste

For the tomatillo sauce, place the coriander (leaving the stalks on) in boiling salted water for 15 seconds, then remove and place in a bowl of iced water. Strain off water and dry the coriander on paper towels. Place the coriander, tomatillo purée, onion, epazote and chilli in a high-speed blender and process until the mixture thickens (the seeds break down and act as a thickener). Season with salt to taste and set aside.

For the marinade, place the orange juice and achiote paste in a high-speed blender and process until thoroughly combined and slightly thickened. Remove the shells of the prawn cutlets, devein and slice up the middle. Combine the prawns and orange juice mixture in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

For the guacamole, mash the avocados in a bowl with a fork, then add the chilli, onion, garlic and coriander, and mix well. Add the tomato, lime juice and Tabasco and salt to taste. Set aside.

Drain the prawns, reserving the marinade. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil until it shimmers, place the drained prawns in the frying pan and fry until cooked, then add the orange juice marinade. Remove the prawns and reduce the liquid until thick enough to coat the prawns. Return the prawns to the pan, remove from the heat and set aside.

Fill the taco shells with guacamole followed by spring onion, coriander leaves, then prawns. Serve with tomatillo sauce on the side.

If you can't get serrano chilli, jalapeño can be substituted. You can find all the specialty Mexican ingredients at .

Reproduced with permission from SIMON GAULT MODERN CLASSICS by Simon Gault. Published by Penguin Group NZ. RRP $60.00. Copyright©text, Simon Gault, 2014.