Dining & Wine

Chef Robert Clark, Organic Ocean, And The Spot Prawn Festival

May 12, 2021

How are these three tied together? In celebration of seafood, that’s how. If you’ve not yet heard the news, acclaimed Vancouver chef Robert Clark just joined the team at leading sustainable seafood purveyor Organic Ocean as chief culinary officer, just in time for Spot Prawn Festival, which starts May 14.

Clark is not only one of the founding pioneers of Canada’s sustainable-seafood movement, Ocean Wise, but he was also recently appointed to the Order of Canada in recognition of his efforts to create an environmentally and economically sustainable seafood supply system. You’d likely recognize him as a competitor on Iron Chef America, read some of his cookbooks or eaten at one of the many restaurants he’s been a crucial part of—like C Restaurant and The Fish Counter.

Organic Ocean went from supplying ethically harvested seafood to restaurants to home delivery during this past pandemic year with great success, with their online fish market now offering overnight delivery across Canada due to high demand. Ordering a la carte fish is an option, sure, but seafood packs like the Couples’ Bring Your Sexy Back Edition are extra fun, not to mention delicious.

Since this year’s B.C. Spot Prawn Festival kicks off May 14 and will continue for the six-to-eight-week season, most of the events will be virtual and teach us how to cook spot prawns at home, including chef Clark’s recipe for Pan Seared Spot Prawns with Ginger Green Onion Sauce, below. Enjoy! Catherine Dunwoody

Pan Seared Spot Prawns With Ginger Green Onion Sauce

1 pound spot prawn tails
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp cornstarch

Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut the prawn tails 2/3 through, leaving the shell on. On medium high, heat up a fry pan, then add the oil. Coat the exposed flesh of the spot prawns with the cornstarch, and place flesh side down in the hot pan, for 20 seconds or until golden brown. Flip for 10 seconds, then pour into a bowl. Toss with half the sauce and the sliced green onions. Serve hot. If you want to serve the prawns cold, peel the raw prawns and leave them whole, cooking for about 20 seconds on each side before tossing in the sauce.

Ginger Green Onion Sauce

2 tbsp grated palm sugar
1/4 cup water
Mix in:
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 tbsp ginger juice 
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sriracha
2 tbsp lime juice, plus zest from 1 lime
1 each red and green chilis, sliced
2 tbsp chopped cilantro             
1 whole green onion, sliced

In a pan over medium-high, heat 1/4 cup of water just enough to dissolve the grated palm sugar. Remove from heat and cool. Using a microplane, grate about 4 or 5 inches of peeled ginger into a container. Taking a fine mesh strainer, coffee filter, or clean tea towel, press the juice out of the pulp. When the sugar mixture is cool, add the remaining ingredients, (except for the green onions, they should only be added just before applying the sauce to the prawns).



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