Tangy hibiscus flower buds or tea, which can be purchased at health or specialty food shops or online, are full of vitamin C and anthocyanins and are widely touted as a natural remedy for conditions like fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome. Good thing they're tasty, too – this dish balances the tart flavour of the hibiscus with rich prawns and delicately scented melon.
Make Natasha MacAller's prawns with a citrus, hibiscus and chilli crumb
Cleansing hibiscus is paired with classic citrus and chillies to create an unusual crumb for this tangy prawn starter
Preparation time 10 mins
Cooking time 10
- ½ Tuscan-style cantaloupe melon, peeled, sliced and cut into triangular pieces
- Zest and juice of 4 lemons
- Zest and juice of 4 limes
- 1½ jalapeños, minced
- 2 tsp dried hibiscus flower buds or tea, finely chopped or crumbled
- 55g dry breadcrumbs
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- 65g palm or soft brown sugar
- 4 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 3 tbsp dark rum
- 24 large prawns, peeled, cleaned and deveined and butterflied
- 6 tsp grapeseed oil
- 2 spring onions, sliced on the bias, to garnish
- 1 handful microgreens, to garnish (optional)
- Put the cut melon in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In another bowl, stir together the lemon and lime zests, the jalapeños, hibiscus tea, the breadcrumbs and salt, and then set aside.
- In a small saucepan, warm the lemon and lime juice with the sugar, ginger and 120ml water, and heat until reduced to about 120ml. Add the rum and cook for 1 minute then remove from the heat, pour over the melon and toss together. Set aside.
- Pat the prawns dry and then coat with 2 teaspoons of the grapeseed oil. Heat the remaining 4 teaspoons of oil in a sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Coat the prawns thoroughly in the prepared crust mixture, and then sear in the oil in batches, adding some more oil if necessary. Cook for 2 minutes and then turn.
- Spoon the melon and sauce onto individual plates or a serving platter, arrange the prawns on top and scatter with the spring onions and microgreens, if using.