Shrimp, Crab & Prawn Oil Recipe By Chef Paul Hegeman

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Shrimp, Crab & Prawn Oil Recipe By Chef Paul Hegeman

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1 kilogram Prawn, Shrimp, Crab, Lobster also works with bug heads & shells
1 Onion peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot peeled and roughly chopped
1 stalk celery roughly chopped
2 Bay Leaves
4 sprigs thyme
1 tomato paste
1 litre Olive Oil
  • Medium




Next time you prepare a dish that leaves you with a lot of crustacean waste do not throw all those wonderful bits out. You can prepare a delicious prawn or shrimp oil, but you can also use crab, lobster, or bug heads and shells.

After you cook your first prawn or shrimp oil you will regret every time you did throw all that seafood out. With this oil in your fridge you will be able to add a beautiful richness to a plethora of dishes.

How to Prepare a Shrimp/ Prawn Oil (works with other seafood as well)

  1. Crack, break or chop the shells into pieces (approx the size of a thumb nail).
  2. In a large heavy based pot over high heat add a few tbsps of olive oil and sauté the carrot, onion and celery until soft.
  3. Add the shells and tomato paste and continue to cook a further 5-8 minutes.
  4. Carefully pour in the remaining oil, add the bay leaves and thyme, make sure that all the ingredients are covered in oil, you may need to add more than a litre depending on the shape and size of your pot.
  5. Leave on high heat for 5 minutes and then reduce to low and allow to cook for at least 3 hours.
  6. Turn off and allow to cool for at least 2 hours.
  7. Once cooled strain though a colander and allow solids to drain of all the oil.
  8. Discard the solids and strain the liquid through a fine chinois at least twice.
  9. Once oil is completely cooled down transfer it to a bottle and it will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of months.
  10. When using the oil in recipes you will need to remove it from the fridge about an hour before you need it so it can become liquid again.

Where to use Prawn or Shrimp Oil

  1. Use it as the oil called for in any seafood pasta dish, such as spaghetti vongole or linguine with squid.
  2. Toss it through any al’dente pasta along with a little chopped parsley.
  3. Drizzle it on top of any soup.
  4. Cook scrambled eggs with salmon in it.
  5. Once you understand the flavours in it, let your imagination run wild with where you use it.

Paul Hegeman

Paul is a personal Chef to exclusive Sydney clients and is also our most frequently contributing writer. Paul was born in The Netherlands and moved to Canada at a very young age. Experience with traditional European meals at home and the diverse multicultural influence of foods in Canada gave Paul a great appreciation for different culinary styles. Over the years Paul traveled extensively and worked at every level of professional kitchens, from the deep fryer in the local burger joint, to the Head Chef in Five Star Hotels. He now resides full time in Sydney, Australia with his wife and their children. You will find his recipes emphasize natural, uncomplicated flavours and fresh ingredients such as those found in Mediterranean and South East Asian cuisines.

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