Summer Drizzle : Chilled Smoked Prawns

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Try this delish recipe from Chef Joseph of Karma Kandara – it’s the perfect dish to serve guests on a hot summer’s day!  The freshness of the simple hearts of palm salad and the subtle smoky flavour enhance the sweetness of the prawns! Says Chef Joseph: ‘This dish is inspired by our Sandset Wine Ritual events that happen once a month.  For this one, we served it canape style, and it was such a success that we ran it as a special at Karma Beach soon after.’

  • Prep Time30 minutes
  • Freeze TimeOvernight
  • Smoke Time30 minutes
  • Yields4 portions
Smoked Prawns


  • 1kg
  • 150 grams
  • 100 grams
  • 1.25 liter
  • 3 grams
  • 3 ea.
  • 30 grams
  • 30 grams
  • 1 bunch
  • 8 ea.
  • 3 ea.
  • 3 ea.
  • 250 ml


  • In a small pot combine 1/3rd of the water with sugar, salt, dried spices, garlic and ginger.  Bring to just under a simmer stirring until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a storage container large enough for prawns.
  • Let stand for 20 minutes to macerate the flavours.
  • Add the remaining water, sugar cane juice, coriander stems, kaffir lime leaves, chillies.
  • Place the prawns in the brine, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  • Once the three hours is up, remove the prawns from the brine, rinse under cold water and pat dry on a paper towel.
  • Lay the prawns flat in a perforated pan or colander and wrap entirely with plastic wrap.
  • Place in the freezer overnight.  This step is important.

The Next Day- Part 2

  • Set the hot smoker to 91 degrees Celsius per manufacturer’s instructions.
  • We use coconut charcoal to get our smoker going.   Once the desired heat of 91 degrees is reached, we add the sugar cane or smoking chips.
  • Remove the FROZEN prawns from the freezer, unwrap and place directly in the smoker still FROZEN.* (see below).  Do not place directly over the heat source.
  • After about 20 minutes (no peeking- you’ll let the smoke out). Check the prawns for desired doneness.  Ideally they should still be opaque in the centre.
  • Give or take an additional ten minutes, remove the prawns from the smoker and place directly in the ice shock water to cool quickly.
  • Once cooled all the way through the centre, remove from shock water, pat dry with a paper towel and place in a storage container until ready to serve.

*By placing the prawns in the smoker frozen two things happen.  First, they take longer to cook which means you have more control in preventing them from over cooking- always a good thing!   Second smoke tends to “stick” more to frozen items such as ice.  You get a more smoke-forward smooth flavour!

*Ultra Fun Side note:

I’ve only smoked two things starting from frozen- prawns and olive brine!  
If you love dirty martinis, you have to try a Smoked Dirty Olive Martini.
Drain your favourite olives into a bowl- I prefer pitted Castelvetrano from Sicily.   Save the olives for the cocktail!
Place the brine in ice cube trays and freeze overnight. 
Once frozen, set your hot smoker to 91 degrees Celsius.
Place the olive brine ice cubes in a solid heat proof dish and smoke away!  
After 40 minutes you will have a wonderful smoked olive brine. 
Remove from the smoker and chill in the fridge until ready to shake or stir- whatever your preference is!

Now that all the technical stuff is done, it’s time to prepare the hearts of palm salad and it’s super easy!

Hearts of Palm Salad


  • 60 grams
  • 15 grams
  • 15 grams
  • 15 ml
  • 35 ml


  • Place the hearts of palm and cherry tomatoes in a mixing bowl.
  • Season with salt and white pepper and give them a quick toss.
  • Freshly squeeze the lemon over the top and add the extra virgin olive oil.
  • Adjust seasoning again if need be.
  • Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.  This salad should be served ice cold and within 15 minutes of tossing.   You don’t want to lose the crunch!
  • Place on the plate and garnish with slices of avocado.
  • Place the chilled prawns next to the salad.
  • Drizzle the prawns with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

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