In my world travels, I have ventured no place more beautiful than Kauai. That said, I am writing this with my feet in the sand, sun upon my shades, a case of Corona resting close by, and my beach chair perched within meters of this paradise’s aquamarine waters.
A million miles from home and thinking of GRILLING!!
For a bit of background, this is one of many adventures in a line of excursions (and more to come) through Central America, Australia/Tasmania, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from sea to shining sea, from coastlines to mountaintops, from one side of the world to the other. Each destination has its own unique landscape, culture, history, people and culinary inspiration.
This most recent trip has been an opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily obligations, priorities, technology and MICHIGAN SNOW. This is an adventure of hiking, diving, fishing, sunshine, beaches, luaus, grass skirts, and living on Hawaiian Time.
To paint the picture, Kauai is the oldest, fourth largest, and most westerly of the islands in the Hawaiian archipelago. “The Garden Isle” is primitive and entirely awe-inspiring, with breathtaking views of gargantuan coastline cliffs, pristine beaches, secluded waterfalls, rainforests, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and evidence from beachside to mountaintop of the island’s violent volcanic origins.
In between are beachside towns such as Waimea, Lihu’e, and Kapa’a – homes to the most wonderful people and welcoming tables (perfect for a wanderlust such as myself). Dishes are plentiful with an amazing array of local seafood, chicken (thousands and thousands of wild chickens), mountain boar and the freshest fruits, vegetables and herbs.
In respect to this month’s posting, I found myself traveling from farmer’s market to farmer’s market, where just outside of Hanalei (northern Kauai coastline) I was compelled by an Ahi Tuna dish that combined the contrasting yet complementary flavors of sweet and heat. But, it was not until I came across local barbecued Kauai prawn that this recipe really came together. I love this dish, its simplicity, depth and complexity of flavors, and true feel of Kauai coastline cuisine.
Now, as I watch the sunset, my family gathers around the luau and stories of the past week are shared, I give you, an original from A Bachelor & His Grill, Mango & Chili-Glazed Grilled Kauai Prawn!
Mahalo & Aloha, my Friends!!
- 2 pounds large (Kauai) prawns, thawed, deveined and head removed, if necessary
- 1 large mango, peeled and cubed
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 sprigs mint
- 2 tablespoons chili paste
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 lime zest
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
- Coarse salt, to taste
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Using pestle and mortar (not a food processor), combine mango, garlic, mint and ginger.
- In large bowl, thoroughly mix mango mixture with remaining ingredients.
- Place prawns in covered container or plastic bag and pour mango marinade over prawns. (Leave ¼ to 1/3 cup of marinade for basting during grilling process.)
- Liberally coat prawns with the mango marinade.
- Press air from container and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring prawns ever 20-30 minutes.
- Remove prawns from refrigerator and pre-heat grill to hot.
- With shell still in tact, skewer 3-4 prawns at a time and place on hottest grill grates.
- Remove prawns from grill when shell is pink, char marks are set and prawns are cooked through.
- Glaze with last brush of marinade, plate and serve hot.