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Byron checks out Monterey's legendary Cannery Row with award-winning chef John Cox and then makes a roasted spot pawn recipe inspired by the day's adventure.

Roasted Spot Prawns


  • 8-10 bunches of pine needles

  • 3-4 spot prawns (or other large, head-on prawn)

  • 1 pound Cherry Tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon chopped kalamata olives

  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts

  • 1 tablespoon parsley

  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil

  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. To make the vinegarette, chiffonade the parsley and mint, and combine with olive oil, sherry vinegar, olives and pine nuts. Add lemon zest salt and set aside.

  2. Heat tomatoes in a dry pan on high heat. Toss occasionally and remove when well charred.

  3. Soak pine needles and place on a medium-high grill. Once the needles start to blacken on the edges add your prawns. Grill prawns for 10 minutes on each side.

  4. Serve prawns while hot along with tomatoes. Top with vinaigrette and enjoy.

Roasted Spot Prawns




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- Hey, it's Byron. I'm here in Monterey Bay, California, meeting up with John Cox, head chef of the critically acclaimed restaurant Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn. We're gonna head off to the docks to be inspired to make our own seafood dish. John. - Byron, pleasure to meet ya. - So what's goin' on here, today. - Oh, we've got a ton going on. We've got commercial squid boats coming in, we've got a lot of products of Monterey Abalone, so we have a full day. - Awesome, I'm looking forward to it. - How's it going, good to see you guys. - This is Byron. - Byron, nice to meet ya. - [Byron] Nice to meet you, Rob. - Coming down to look for some fresh seafood. - It's here, we got it. - Looks like we've got some stuff going on. - Yeah, local squid, we've been loading for about the last month now. - Are you gonna let us take some squid right off your boat? Yeah, let's do it. - From the ocean, to the boat, to the dock, to the tank. This is the calamari squid of Monterey Bay. - Looks like a ton of squid, literally. - Right about a ton of squid, yes. Dig in, help yourself. That's a nice squid, yeah, see? These ones are awesome. - They better be enough for what we're doing today. - Before it used to be bait, now it's a delicacy on our menu. - [Voiceover] Monterey Abalone is literally underneath the commercial wharf on Monterey Bay. They grow abalone, dive for seaweed, and the tons of squid you just saw? They're right above my head. - [Voiceover] Alright, man. What do you think? - Oh my goodness, this is insane. - I want to introduce you to Trevor, he and Art are co-owners of Monterey Abalone. - [Voiceover] We're like right under the dock, and I just want to know what goes on here. - [Voiceover] We have a small scale algae farm out here, we actually have to go scuba diving for them. It's about as local Monterey as you can get. - [Voiceover] What do you have here? - These guys have collected some pretty incredible ingredients. Sea lettuce, sea grapes, grass alaria, dolce, we have spot prawns. This abalone is actually so fresh, it's sticking to the cutting board. - That's insane. - And then my new favorite ingredient. - No way, jellyfish? - Yeah, moon jellyfish. - I've never heard of anybody using a jellyfish on their menu, ever. - The chefs just love to get their hands on these fresh ingredients. - [Voiceover] I would love to use some of this stuff. - If it's okay with Trevor, what do you think about us staying around for a few minutes, and trying to taste some of these items? - Oh, that's a great idea. - What is that? - This is actually a coffee siphon. Obviously we're not making coffee down here. I'm gonna put all these different raw seaweeds in the bowl, and we're gonna make an aromatic broth, and then pour it over the ingredients, to just lightly cook them. Let's start with the squid. Yeah, these were probably caught early this morning, or late last night, and brought right in. We'll do the spot prawns. - [Voiceover] Okay. - [Voiceover] So the spot prawns get the name because of those two, distinct white spots on the side, and that's how you can tell if it's a true spot prawn or an imposter. And we're gonna put it in our siphon. Alright, now we've got one more. Now I know the jellyfish have been eaten around the world, but mostly you only see it dried. So there's really no reference material for us to go from. - [Voiceover] So you were just, it was like totally. - [Voiceover] We were just going for it. These are the tentacles. So on a normal jellyfish, that would really be hurting. But these moon jellyfish don't really have the same toxins, so we're okay. - [Voiceover] It just feels like super set jello. - [Voiceover] It looks like ice, I mean it looks like it would just be melting on the table. - Chefs would die for this texture. - [Voiceover] So I'm just gonna add a little bit of lime juice to it. - [Voiceover] Yeah, like that. - And a little bit of ginger, just for good measure. - [Voiceover] I'm like, dying to eat this. You bite into it, it's almost it does have that saltiness to it. Really, really good. - Alright, Byron, we've tried everything raw, let's put together this little broth. - Let's do it! - I have a few aromatics: kefir lime, ginger, different herbs. If you just want to put them on top of the siphon. So for each of these different seafood, I'm just gonna cut them into bite-sized pieces. The pressure's gonna build up in this lower chamber. - [Voiceover] Yeah, you can see it rising, it's like infusing all those beautiful herbs and flavors. - So you can see some of the protein is coagulating down here. - Yeah! - And the pressure will equalize now that you get to the top, and it will drop that broth right back down. Get a load of that steam. - Oh yeah, you can smell. I mean, I can really smell the lime leaf. The ginger, all the herbs. - [Voiceover] So it's not gonna stay hot too long, since all that was cold, so go ahead and give it a try. - Super fresh, really clean favor. - [Voiceover] These ingredients surround us everyday. So much biodiversity, and that's really, for me, that's what makes working with all this seafood so fun. - Absolutely. - Infinite number of combinations, flavors and textures. - Well, thank you so much. - [Voiceover] Yeah, it's been a pleasure showing you one of my passions. - [Voiceover] So along this beautiful section of Pacific coastline, the spot prawn is king. Now John's preparation was really cool, but today I want to give you my own take on these prawns. I sourced some local pine needles here, just right around Santa Cruz. So I'm gonna grill my spot prawns on a bed of these pine needles, but the first thing I need to do is tomato salad. So the first thing I'm going to start with is chiffonading my herbs, which is basically just stacking the herbs, rolling them, and just getting a good slice on them. Alright, I have basil and parsley, two different sizes of herbs. I'm gonna put my smaller herb, which would be the parsley, right inside of this basil, and roll it all up. I'm just gonna give it just a really thin, nice slice. And now I'm gonna start chopping up my olives. These are just some Kalamata olives, it's gonna give it a nice little Mediterranean feel. Just giving it a nice mince. I'm gonna be using sherry vinegar, which has sort of a malty taste to it, really acidic, just two teaspoons would be good. And add my olive oil. And them I'm gonna add just a few pine nuts. So now that's all finished, I'm actually gonna zest the lemon in here, and I'm gonna use my micro-plane. Just get that very outer edge, a little bit of cracked black pepper, and then a little bit of salt, give it a good mix. And I think my pan is ready to go, so I'm gonna throw my tomatoes in there. I'm going with dry heat, no oil, you know? Just some salt and pepper, and that's it. So my tomatoes are charring beautifully in this pan, but now I'm going to start working on the prep for my spot prawns, and saturate the pine needles with water, and prevent them from catching fire on the grill, which obviously you don't want happening. So I'm just gonna lay these out, give me a nice bed for the prawns to rest on. So these prawns are gonna cook for probably ten minutes on each side, as you can see, the pine needles are just starting to get a little bit dark around the edges, tomatoes get really charred right now, you can see they're sort of just bursting at the seams, just gonna cool down in this bowl. The spot prawns are cooking away, so I'm gonna give these guys a flip, they've been cooking for a little bit. These prawns look absolutely beautiful, they're ready to be plated. I'm just gonna get my plate out. And these guys are pretty big, so three is a good serving portion. Wonderful colors. Now we're just gonna finish off this plate with a vinaigrette. The smoky pine flavor is really gonna bring out the nice woodiness in the Cidre. I know the prawns are pretty sweet on their own, the Cidre is dry enough to balance that all together. Oh, beautiful. That is a wonderful looking plate. Hopefully you guys enjoyed this recipe, thank you so much for watching. Join me next week, as I head down the coastline to Big Sur, California.