Fired prawn, wood oven avocado, pickled carrot, saffron tomato

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    Starter Portions
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Mile 8: A book about cooking

Mile 8

By David Higgs

Published 2018

  • About

The nightmare of my avocado and prawn service as a young chef at Peers was enough for me to recreate the dish in my own way. Interesting how we overworked so many basic ingredients back then and lost the real sense of the product. It was an avocado mousse served with prawns, moulded into a timbale. Texture and flavour lost forever. It looked pretty, though.



  • 8 large tiger prawns – head on
  • butter – melted
  • salt
  • lemon – for squeezing


  • 4 whole avocados
  • salt and pepper – to season

Pickled carrot ribbons

Saffron and tomato concasse

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 2 g saffron
  • ice bath
  • 400 ml curry bisque – 50ml per serving
  • 160 ml carrot juice – 20ml per serving
  • 80 ml green oil – 10ml per serving
  • 40 shoots micro coriander – 5 per serving


Butterfly the prawns and remove the digestive tract running along the centre. Place shell side down on medium to hot heat and brush the flesh with melted butter. As the flesh starts to turn white, turn the prawn and finish – 30 seconds more. Remove from the coals, and season with salt and a squeeze of lemon.

Slice each avocado in half lengthways. Scoop the 8 avocado halves into an oven tray and blister in a wood-fired oven. Alternatively, place the avocados in an oven set to ‘grill’ until they begin to blister. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper, and serve the avocados while hot.

Shave 48 ribbons lengthways from the carrots with either a mandolin or a peeler. Place the ribbons in a vacuum bag with the cold rice wine vinegar pickle. Vacuum seal the bag and refrigerate until needed.

Score the tomatoes and blanch them in a pot of boiling water for 30–40 seconds until the skin begins to peel back. Transfer the tomatoes to an ice bath and remove the skins. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthways and remove the seeds. Cut the tomato flesh petals into brunoise (3mm cubes) and mix with the olive oil and saffron. Leave at room temperature to allow the concasse to infuse.

To assemble, arrange on each plate as you like or follow the photo. Splash 50 ml curry bisque, 20 ml carrot juice and 10 ml green oil onto each plate. Place a grilled prawn onto the sauces on the plate. Dress the prawn with 6 pickled carrot ribbons, 10 ml of the saffron and tomato concasse and 5 micro coriander shoots, and serve with the grilled avocado.