Asparagus and Tiger Prawn Appetizer with a Pink Dipping Sauce
This simple recipe can be made using just one pot if you have one large enough to accommodate the asparagus spears. If you do not have a tall, wide pot, you can boil the prawns in one pot and use a deep skillet for the asparagus. Let both the prawns and asparagus cool before assembling the appetizer. Because the ingredients are cool, you can make this tasty asparagus appetizer recipe in advance if you want to. Simply refrigerate the cooked tiger prawns and asparagus until you are ready to serve the appetizers, then you will find you can assemble the appetizers in just a minute or two. Keep the plates in the refrigerator too so they are nicely chilled.
The sauce is very simple to prepare and it is just a combination of mayonnaise and ketchup with a pinch of garlic powder and cayenne pepper to add depth and a touch of spice. You can omit the cayenne pepper if you like or add a couple of drops of whisky instead, to make a classic seafood dipping sauce. This is optional but it is flavorful. Do not add more than a couple of drops of whisky if you are going to use it, else the whisky flavor will be too strong. Use the cayenne pepper or the whisky; you will not need both.
Tiger prawns, which are also known as tiger shrimps, are easy to work with. Since they are flash frozen, you might as well buy a package of frozen tiger prawns. The ones you buy at the fish market are more expensive (and they have been thawed) so it is better to buy the cheaper ones and thaw your own. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature for a couple of hours. You can peel them easily and remove the black vein (this is the intestine and it goes right along the back of the prawn) before cooking. Most home cooks leave the tails on for a classy look.
- 24 tiger prawns, peeled and de-veined (leave the tails on)
- 20 asparagus spears
- 4 sprigs of fresh parsley or cilantro, for garnish
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or a few drops of whisky
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Stir the mayonnaise, ketchup, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper together to make the dressing.
- Use whisky instead of cayenne pepper if you like.
- Taste it and add some salt and pepper if needed.
- Chill in the refrigerator until required.
- Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add the tiger prawns.
- Cook them until they are pink, then remove them using a slotted spoon, and let them cool.
- Cut the woody ends off the asparagus spears.
- Add the asparagus to the water and cook for 10 minutes or until tender.
- Drain the asparagus and let it cool.
- Arrange 5 asparagus spears on each of 4 chilled serving plates and add 6 tiger prawns to each.
- Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.
- Serve a dollop of dipping sauce on the side.
Sometimes the simplest appetizer recipes are the most elegant-looking ones and elegance is definitely a word which comes to mind when looking at this exciting tiger prawn and asparagus appetizer photo. Tiger prawns take just a minute or two to cook; in fact as soon as they turn pink they are done. The asparagus takes about ten minutes depending on the thickness of the spears. This appetizer can be eaten with the fingers, since both the tiger prawns and asparagus spears are dipped into the sauce. If you serve it that way do not forget the finger bowls and napkins.
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