Ibiza red prawns

red prawns1

Photography by Annie Peel

Soundtrack – Ricky Nelson: My Pony, My Rifle and Me

Ibiza red prawns. I don’t think it is possible to put anything finer in your mouth than these Ibicenco bottom feeders. You suck and chew them and in so doing you get a glimpse of the glory of God.

The first time I had them was in Can Pujol over in San An. Can Pujol was the first and is still arguably the best of all the Ibiza fish restaurants. It was there that many of the dishes you open your wallet for elsewhere originated. I balked at the then seemingly high price of 25 bucks for five prawns but thought that they had to be tried. Jesus Ache Cristo, what  a moment. I unbent  that little mother and nibbled off its legs. Crisp and crunchy, they were masticated thoroughly before they departed into the darkness of my gullet.

I stuck my fingers in-between its flesh and its carapace. I pulled out a beautiful, crooked, bright white finger of flesh with red ribbing. In it went. The sweetness of the flesh seemed hardly possible. All previous prawns melted away into insignificance. The Gamba Had Landed.

Most people stop here but this is wrong and should be illegal. ALL the prawn must be consumed. (Well, with the exception of the sack, its bitter digestive bits. These should be discarded). The tail was crunched up and swallowed. So was the carapace. Now only remained the head. I nibbled off the forelegs same as the body legs. I then pulled its head in two, removed the sack and sucked out its brains. Careful not to stab the inside of my mouth with its sword like proboscis I crunched up the head casing and it too disappeared into the darkness.

Lastly was left the lower head. This was sucked dry and then left for Mr Manners. I’m nice like that.

Unfortunately there were two of us sharing five prawns so a fist fight broke out between us. Luckily I got the better of my wife and sat triumphant with the last of these kingly creatures ready to go the way of all things.

Whilst you can make rices, stew, soups and more with Ibiza red prawns and they are still exceptional once they have been cuisined, the only way to really cook them is as follows:


  • Buy as many as you can afford.
  • Heat a dry pan till good and hot.
  • Sprinkle with lightly crushed Torres Rock salt and sear them in the pan. Make sure you don’t overcrowd them in the pan. Do in batches if necessary.
  • Turn after about 45 seconds and remove 45 seconds later.
  • Eat immediately.