How to Cook Spot Prawns Like a Chef

How to cook spot prawns like a chef.

If you’ve ever braved the scrum at Fisherman’s Wharf in the thick of spot prawn season, you may have been jostling up against Globe@YVR chef Ruth Wigman. “I love to buy directly from the boat,” says Chef Wigman, who orchestrates the seafood-forward menu for the Fairmont Vancouver Airport’s in-house restaurant. “Not only are you guaranteed to get the freshest product, but it’s a great opportunity to meet with the fishermen and understand where your food comes from.”

With just a week or so left in spot prawn season this year, it seemed like a good a time as any to tap the locavore chef for her go-to prawn preparation—and unsurprisingly, her straightforward recipe is all about letting the naturally sweet flavour of the seafood shine through. Memorize this one and wow your friends with an end-of-season feast, or keep it in your pocket til next year for a “spot” on (see what we did there?) celebration of our fave seasonal seafood.

Whole BC Spot Prawns

Recipe courtesy Chef Ruth Wigman from Globe@YVR


  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6-10 raw spot prawns (with heads and shell on)
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter (cut in to half inches pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons chives, some chopped for serving
  • Lemon wedge for serving
  • Grilled Filone bread or baguette for serving


In a wide frying pan over medium-high, heat oil until smoking.

Add the minced garlic and gently fry until the garlic is softened but not brown (about 30 seconds).

Add the prawns in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Fry for 1 minute.

Add the white wine, flip the prawns and cover. Allow prawns to steam for roughly two minutes.

Flip the prawns, cover again and cook another two minutes until cooked through.

Add the last moment, add the butter and chopped chives to the pan and swirl to combine.

Plate the prawns immediately and pour over any remaining butter.

Garnish with extra chives and a lemon wedge. Serve with grilled bread.

how to cook spot prawns