Quick Bites from Pender

Spot Shrimp Sushi Sunday – The Raw & The Cooked

In Did You Know, Island Life, Sunday Lunch on May 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm


Sunday Lunch has been hijacked today, for the sake of shameless alliteration.  Truth be told, I’m partial to assonance — who doesn’t prefer a little assonance? — but you can’t have everything.

“Alliteration is pleasant and precious, but some fancy assonance can make you dance in your pants,” that’s what my mama used to say.

Acutally, she never said that.  And I (still) call her Mom.  But I really do like assonance, if that counts for anything.

As for calling them Spot SHRIMP?  Again, it’s mostly a result of my overwhelming desire to rampantly spread the use of non-rhyming stylistic devices, but it is also technically correct.  Commonly referred to as Spot PRAWNS, these spotted little guys (see the white spots near the tail and head?) are actually biologically classified as shrimp.


Enough pretension and learning for one Sunday!  Let’s skip to what Howard and I had for dinner last night:


Roll #1 – The Raw (at the top of the photo):

Six raw Spot PRAWNS, freshly killed by moi, who grabbed their heads and twisted with grim determination.  It’s not exactly enjoyable, but if you’re going to eat animal protein, killing your own food, albeit occasionally, is important — and invigorating.   If you do it quickly and cleanly, you’re left feeling lightly charged and hungry.  And possibly in need of a drink.

Also in the raw roll was:

  • BC Red Pepper and Cucumber
  • Hot Pepper Jelly from Jane’s Herb Garden
  • Pender Island Cilantro
  • A squeeze of lime
  • A few shoots of sea asparagus that I foraged from the shore at low tide

sea-asparagus hot-pepper-jelly-on-rice

This is my first time using sea asparagus — it tasted super salty when I nibbled, so I blanched it for 1 minute in boiling unsalted water, then shocked in ice water to stop the cooking.  The result was a slightly tenderized, but still crunchy — and much less salty — addition to our Ceviche-like, British Columbia-Centric Roll.

My favourite of our 2 rolls…fresh, new, sweet, briny, crunchy, spicy and huge!  I should have cut it into 8 pieces instead of 6.  I also should have picked enough sea asparagus to make another one — so good…

Roll #2:  The Cooked


  • Sake and green seaweed steamed spot SHRIMP (see the very first photo)
  • Crispy Pender Island leeks
  • Oven roasted BC cherry tomatoes
  • Sesame seeds
  • Mayonnaise

To make the crispy leeks, I trimmed and washed the leeks to get rid of the grit that resides in all leeks.  I then julienned the white and light green parts, and blanched them for 1 minute.  After shocking, draining and drying, I fried them in 1/4” of 350° F sunflower oil until crispy.  Drain and season.  Caution:  do not let them brown — they’ll taste burnt.

pender-island-leeks crispy-leeks

There’s nothing to complain about in this roll, but it didn’t shine the way the first one did.  It’s a keeper — with some adjustments.  Next time, I think I’ll skip the tomatoes, go light on the mayo, heavy on the leeks, and incorporate one other component, I’m just not quite sure what it is yet.

I’m also unsure about what to name my rolls.  We tossed Pender Island, B-Sea and a few others last night, but nothing really stood out.  Any suggestions out there?

  1. my girls love sushi….well california rolls…I made them last week and then found out they were all abuzz on face book….I would love your cooked variety….I’m from the south and we refer to raw fish as bait..lol….but I’m sure for those that do enjoy it they were probably incredible….and by the way what is sea asparagus..that I would like to try!!

    • Dennis…you`ll have to trust me — the raw shrimps were amazing — so fresh you could still taste the sea! Being from the south, you must do oysters? More info about sea asparagus coming….great stuff!

  2. Nice!!! OK, I’m vegetarian (vegan in fact) but follow your blog because I love the local food information. I absolutely have to agree with your statement (at least in part) that if you’re GOING to eat animals sometimes you need to kill your own. Not that I would enjoy it in any way, but that’s just me, I think people need to know where everything on their plate comes from, how it got there and how it died. Less people would probably eat prawns if they had to rip the heads off themselves, (or if they had to harvest the wheat to make their own bread for that matter) but those that did would have a much better understanding of their food. It’s not just something from a box on a supermarket shelf and I admire you for showing (and telling) people exactly where things come from. (Whether they’re always things I would eat or not!)

    • Thanks so much Marti! I feel a little “meat heavy” on this blog sometimes, so I’m glad to know it still keeps your interest. I have a rep for telling it like it is, and I’m afraid it’s a familial trait that will be with me ’til the end of my days…thanks again for following!

  3. I also agree with you and Chef Dennis as it pertains to philosophies about knowing where your food comes from (and on occasion having to kill it). Have you ever read The Omnivore’s Dilemma? A great book, and it also touches on this topic!

    Aside from that, your rolls look great and I was also excited to see your crispy leeks! Now you have me craving both shrimp AND sushi. 😉

  4. I’m going to be heading to Victoria in a week or so and I’m hoping that the spot prawns (shrimp!) are still in season when I get there. What a great looking roll!

  5. I must try the sea asparagus, sound interesting. Love anything sushi:)

    • We loved the sea asparagus! A quick blanch in boiling water took away the overwhelming saltiness, leaving a crisp green veggie with a slight salty kick! Highly recommended, especially if you can forage your own!

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