The shrimp fishing season has started meaning an abundance of one the trendiest ingredients to hit this year’s culinary scene, says Penny Fray
Once regarded as a fiddly heap of shell for every bijou bite, the shrimp is now as popular as the lobster – but at half the price.
Featured prominently on restaurant menus and celebrity cookbooks, the petite prawn has been turned into everything from popcorn to fishcakes – explaining why there’s such excitement for the start of the shrimp season in Al Wusta.
The wilayats of Al Duqm, Mahout and Al Jazir are well known for their wealth of shrimp, attracting fishermen from all over the Sultanate.
Of course, the global harvesting of these crunchy critters has caused a bit of a furore in the past with both fish and dolphins needlessly being killed in their nets.
Aware of the need for regulation and education, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has pledged to carry out a whole host of seminars and lectures to make sure the industry complies with laws on sustainability and responsible fishing.
• 50g plain flour
• 2 medium eggs
• 1 bunch of salad onions,
• 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley,
• 225g small prawns, shelled
• 1 tsp paprika
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• Lemon wedges
❖ Lightly whisk the flour and eggs. Add five tablespoons of water, stir to a smooth batter and add the onions, parsley, shrimps and paprika.
❖ Season and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
❖ Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Spoon in 1 tablespoon of the mixture and flatten slightly; cook for about two minutes each side, until golden.
❖ Serve with lemon wedges and salad shards.