Prawn tacos with chipotle sauce and cucumber slaw

Photographer: Emma
Serves 6

I find the older I get the more attention I pay to my surroundings.  I begin to note things like weather patterns and the way they shift and change with the seasons.  I take subconscious note of the time of year which the spring bulbs push their wee heads through the frigid earth marking the beginning of new life. I begin to wonder things such as whether or not the month of November is a typically windy one, or if August is typically the wettest.  From where this curiosity has sprung I am unsure but most recently it has me thinking about when in the year life moves from inside to out.  Was it last November I dug the picnic set out from the back of the cupboard or was it in fact December?

Either way, this recipe is a belly full of summer.  So whether or not you fish the picnic set out this month or next make sure that this dish is on the menu.  The fresh flavours and the bright colours will bring a touch of summer to any outdoor meal.


Chipotle Sauce
2 tbsp Olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 large red onion, deseeded and thinly sliced
1-2 red chillies, finely sliced
3 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tins tomatoes
½ cup water
5 tbsp cider vinegar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp sugar

36 prawns

12 soft shell tacos

Avocado Salsa
2 Avocados
Juice of 2 limes
Good handful coriander, leaves picked from stalks

Cucumber Slaw
1 cucumber, deseeded and julienned
2 big yellow chillies, deseeded and julienned
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
5 baby cos leaves, finely shredded
Bunch coriander, roughly chopped

1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 limes, juiced, plus zest of one
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp Mexican beer
1 heaped tsp honey

Lime wedges to serve


Chipotle sauce
1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the garlic, red onion and chillies, sauté until soft and translucent.
2. Add the cumin and paprika and cook for a minute for adding the tomatoes, water, vinegar, salt and sugar.
3. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for half an hour or until the sauce starts to thicken and turn silky. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Avocado Salsa
1. Chop the avocados into 1cm cubes and mix with the lime juice and coriander leaves and season with salt and pepper.

Cucumber Slaw
1. Combine the cucumber, chilli, red onion, baby cos and coriander leaves in a bowl and mix well.
2. In a jar combine the remaining ingredients to make the dressing. Shake well and pour over the vegetables.

To Assemble
1. Heat the tacos in an oven or microwave.
2. Put a small amount of olive oil into a frying pan and quickly cook the prawns (or if they are pre-cooked just heat them through). Add the chipotle sauce and cook for about a minute.
3. Onto each taco put some slaw, prawns and chipotle sauce and avocado salsa and serve with wedges of lime.