It is an ongoing struggle for Australian’s that where ever we go in the world we are asked to repeat the phrase “throw a shrimp on the barbie”. We don’t have a problem repeating this phrase, or any other iconic Australian ling to show off our accent that many think is sexy. No the problem we have with this particular sentence is the word shrimp. We don’t call shrimp… shrimp. We call them prawns. And no Australian in the history of Australian BBQs would ever say seriously “throw a shrimp on the barbie”. So every time we are asked to repeat this phrase we have to politely advise the person that it isn’t a culturally correct saying… which when you are backpacking maybe 4-5 times a night. Paul Hogan has a lot to answer for.
In saying that we do eat a lot of prawns… A LOT! We eat them plain with just a dipping sauce, tossed with garlic and pasta, on pizza, in rice paper rolls, in laksa, deep-fried or BBQ’d. I doubt you can think of a new way to eat prawns (shrimp) that Australians haven’t already tried. We love prawns so much that there is a monument to one in a small town called Ballina on the East Coast of Australia. We call it – The Giant Prawn. Put it on your Australia road trip itinerary!
Thanks to the high demand and overfishing they aren’t the cheapest of cuisines for a backpacker to sample. Yet to get the full “Australian” experience on your Australian adventure you really must try them at least once.
This is one of my all-time favourite easy to make and delicious throw together recipes. Not only does it utilise the ever famous Australian prawn but it also combines Australia’s other favourite ingredients – avocado and mango. Short of eating a meat pie – I don’t think you can get a meal more “Australian” than this one.
Australian Prawn and Mango Lettuce Cups
You can eat this as a meal on its own, or you can have it as a side dish if you are having a bigger feast.
- 1/2 kg Locally caught prawns (serves 2 – a full kilo serves 4)
- 1 mango – cubed
- 1 avocado – cubed
- 1 red chill – diced
- iceberg or cos lettuce leaves
- Thousand island dressing (if you don’t have thousand island dressing mix one tbs of mayonnaise, one tbs of tomato sauce (ketchup) and a healthy shake of tobacco sauce together)
- Shell the prawns and chop into rough bite size pieces
- Place all items in a bowl and mix except for lettuce
- Spoon the mixture into the lettuce leaves to serve.
Prices for all ingredients are seasonal in Australia. $16 AUD total or $8 AUD per person