North Sea Prawn Cocktail

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North Sea Prawn Cocktail

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Adjust Servings:
Tomato Sauce:
500 g cherry tomatoes
25 g Sugar
7 g sherry vinegar
Olive Oil
Marie Rose Sauce:
1 egg yolk
7.5 g Dijon Mustard
12.5 g Lemon Juice
24 g tomato sauce
3.5 g Worcestershire Sauce
260 ml grapeseed oil
1.5 g salt flakes
5 ml Cognac
Prawn Cocktail:
300 g shells on prawns
juice of 1 lemon
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
Olive Oil
  • 1h 25min
  • Serves 4
  • Medium


  • Tomato Sauce:

  • Marie Rose Sauce:

  • Prawn Cocktail:



Since Belgium lies on the North Sea, that is where they catch their prawns. And how they do it is pretty impressive. They take beautiful, big strong horses into shallow waters to pull giant nets that catch the tiny tasty prawns. It is a lovely sight in some coastal cities during the summer.

The cocktail itself is made with grey prawns, peeled of course, and a cocktail sauce, which is like a mixture of mayonnaise and tomato sauce (or ketchup), but so much better. The cocktail is enjoyed as a starter, but the peeled prawns are often eaten on their own as a snack.


For the Tomato Sauce:

  1. Place the cherry tomatoes in a large pan and add olive oil until they are just covered. Slowly confit the tomatoes at 60° C for about one hour until they are softened.
  2. In a separate pan over a high heat, add the softened tomatoes and sugar to caramelize them, stirring constantly. This should take no more than 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer the caramelized tomatoes to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add sherry vinegar and salt to taste, adjusting the seasoning if necessary to get the desired balance between sweet, sour, and savory.

For the Marie Rose Sauce:

  1. Make the mayonnaise by whisking together the egg yolk, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice, before slowly adding the grapeseed oil, whisking constantly.
  2. Once thickened, fold through the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cognac, and Maldon salt.

Prawn Cocktail:

  1. Blanch the prawns in boiling water before plunging them in an iced water bath and peeling them.
  2. Dress the prawns with lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt before adding them to the cocktails.
  3. To assemble the cocktails, drain the lettuce and pat dry with kitchen paper. Arrange two-thirds of the leaves in martini glasses or small bowls.
  4. Add the prawns and spoonful of sauce. Top with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper.

The next time you visit Belgium, give yourself a treat of this starter. I bet you will keep asking for more. Next check out our top of the most popular Belgium foods.

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