Gulf of Carpentaria Prawns with Seaweed Butter from Montalto

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Montalto, the esteemed family-owned winery and world-class restaurant in Red Hill South, shares their standout dish: Gulf of Carpentaria Prawns with Seaweed Butter by chef Matt Wilkinson.

07 September 2023

My late brother-in-law, Liam Gibb, was a wild prawn fisherman who caught amazing prawns – especially tiger prawns from the Gulf of Carpentaria. This dish is an ode to him. 

At Montalto, we are surrounded by two bays: Western Port and Port Phillip. Our menu is inspired by the opportunity to showcase these bodies of water throughout the seasons. The seaweed we use is from our dear friend, Steven Cooper (Flinders Oyster Company), who grows native Angassi oysters in Western Port, and also conditions Sydney Rock oysters that we use liberally across the estate.  

Steve also grows and collects many edible species of seaweed – one of which we use for this dish. We proudly serve these prawns on custom-made plates from Sam Gordon. Sam uses clay from the estate and burnt vine cuttings to colour the glaze. The style, colour and quality of these plates are unlike any others – exclusive to, and representative of, the land Montalto shares with our visitors.  

This dish also highlights how amazing the perfect food and wine can be. Pairing the richness and minerality of the prawns and seaweed butter alongside one of Montalto’s exquisite Chardonnays – especially our estate Chardonnay – is truly a match made in heaven.  

The following recipe makes more butter than you will need – at least enough for 10 serves. However, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, the butter will keep in the fridge for up to 6 months. Try using the butter stirred through a pasta like rigatoni, or as a butter sauce on grilled fish, or even BBQ steak. 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

4 x extra-large, raw, shell-on Gulf of Carpentaria prawns (politely ask your fishmonger to split them down the middle for you, or you can cook them whole) 

250g soft (unsalted) butter 

50g dried local seaweed, or you can use nori (the same seaweed you make sushi with, available in the Asian section of most supermarkets) 

5g salt flakes 

1 x lemon, zest, and juice. 

Method:

Butter

Add all of the above ingredients (except for the prawns) in a bowl and mix to combine.  

Prawns 

In a large frying pan on medium heat, add a little oil then add your prawns. Add a few tablespoons of seaweed butter and keep turning the prawns until cooked through. Place prawns onto a serving platter, or individual plates, and spoon over extra butter. This dish goes excellently with a simple salad of garden leaves, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, thinly sliced radishes with a few herbs mixed through. Dress your salad with a simple dressing made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, lemon, and salt. 

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