Prawn tacos with fresh slaw

I have been wanting to make prawn tacos for ages. I was stoked to get some fresh prawns from the farmers market on the weekend. They may have come all the way from Lakes Entrance, but at least I knew where they came from, and they were going to taste great. I marinaded the prawns with mulato chilli, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Mulatto chillis have a wonderful deep fruity flavour. I think they’re perfectly suited to seafood. If you really wanted to, you could probably substitute sweet paprika.

The prawns are served in a quintessentially seasonal taco. Avocados are a winter fruit. Guacamole brings the required creaminess to the taco, with enough moisture to hold all the ingredients together. But this slaw is sheer genius. Dora is one of my favourite stallholders at the Capital Region Farmers Market. At the moment she’s selling ‘salad garlic’ which is simply garlic so young it hasn’t had time to develop a bulb yet. It looks a bit like a spring onion or a baby leek but has the distinctive garlic flavour. I knew it would be perfect finely sliced through a wintery slaw of finely sliced sweet savoy cabbage and peppery radish. The whole combination makes for a wonderfully complex, fresh and tasty taco that warms you the way a summer night does, but still lets you appreciate what winter has to offer. I hope you like it as much as I did!

Serves 4

Prawns

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons Mulato chilli powder
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
34 prawn tails
1 tablespoon olive oil

Slaw

4-6 leaves savoy cabbage
2 stalks young/salad garlic
6 radishes
½ teaspoon sherry vinegar*
½ teaspoon olive oil

*Aged red wine vinegar would be the best substitute.

Tacos

8 tortillas
2 avocado
1 tablespoon lime juice

Prepare the prawns the day before. Grind all the spices in a mortar and pestle. Mix the spices, prawns and olive oil and marinade overnight.

Make the slaw. Roll a cabbage leaf tightly and cut it very finely. Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves. Finely slice young garlic. You want to use all the white and light green parts, but discard the dark green tops. Play with the rings to pull them apart. Top and tail the radishes and grate them on the medium sized holes on your grater. Mix all the slaw ingredients thoroughly then dress with the vinegar and olive oil. Set aside for a while to allow the flavours to infuse.

Mash the avocados with the lime juice and salt.

Remove the prawns from the fridge. Cook on a high heat in a preheated frying pan until just cooked.

To serve, toast a tortilla in a hot dry frying pan until golden on both sides. Spread a generous portion of guacamole down the middle of the tortilla then add a portion of slaw. Top with four prawns and enjoy.  Repeat for the remaining tacos.

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