Authentic Norwegian Dublin Bay Langoustine

I grew up beside the sea at Seapoint, just south of Dublin city. From the age of four, my father gave me an interest in fishing and seafood. Sadly, there has been little point in my taking the fishing rods out over the past 20 years. The disastrous mismanagement of our coastal fisheries over the long-term has led to there being very little fish of any sort left within a decent beach cast of the Irish east coast.

This shot is to tempt you to read on. Go, read on…

I was bemoaning this fact recently to my friend P. He put the counter-case that there still is plenty of fish in the sea and that we export the best of them. He went on to state emphatically that even the prawns from Dublin Bay are all caught and exported by aeroplane to the south of France, where they attract a premium price.

Prawns from Dublin Bay?”, I scoffed. Sure everybody knows there hasn’t been a prawn in Dublin Bay in living memory. He refused to believe me. “I’ve seen them myself” he reacted “in the fish market in Niece.”

Ahh, the power of marketing. For the record, there are no Dublin Bay Prawns in Dublin Bay. They are also known in various parts as Norway Lobster or in pricier establishments ‘Langoustine’. Perhaps we should bring some marketing clarity to the situation by renaming them ‘Norwegian Dublin Bay Langoustine’?

None of the above stopped me buying some in George’s Fish Shop and using them for a very tasty Dublin Bay Prawn in Black Bean Sauce. I cooked it for the Wife and myself last week.

Here’s what you need

  • Fermented black beans
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of rice wine or sherry (If you have some left over from when your maiden aunt has been over for a drink).
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2cm of ginger
  • A teaspoon of cornstarch in a half cup of water.
  • 12 Norwegian Dublin Bay Langoustine

Here’s what to do
De-head the prawns and put the tails in the freezer for half an hour. It makes them much easier to shell. While they are cooling, chop the ginger, chilli, garlic very small. Slice the onion. Soak the black beans in hot water.

The red bits are part of the prawns. I managed to not let my fingers bleed over them.

Side note: Save the shell, the heads and other bits of prawn that you don’t eat to make stock. You can freeze these now and do this later.

Take the prawns out of the freezer and squeeze them on either side of the shell to crack them. The shells come off easily after that. Easily is a relative term. You should be able to get them off with only a few cuts from the sharp end of the prawn shell. Man up, it’s worth it.

Dont, don’t, don’t use a black bean sauce from a bottle. There is no comparison. So DON’T.

After that, fry the onions until soft. Add the garlic and ginger until the aromas start to rise out of the wok. Add the chilli and black beans. Stir until the black bean aroma starts to rise. Add the prawns. Stir.

Over a very high heat, they take about as long to cook as they take to say “Fresh Authentic Norwegian Dublin Bay Langoustine.”

Add the soy and rice wine. Keep stirring and add as much of the cornstarch mixture as you feel is needed to thicken the sauce.

Too much faffing around with the new 35mm lens let the dish go cool. Still very tasty though.

Serve it with Thai Fragrant rice. Don’t do as I did and let it go cold while taking the pictures.

Now, I wonder, can I copyright “Norwegian Dublin Bay Langoustine”? It has a certain authentic ring to it.

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Latest comments
  • That’s a wonderful dish! Plenty of langoustine here 🙂 While I’m in Alsace, I’m going to look for fermented black beans!

  • They look delicious and good freezer tip 😉

  • Amen on the bottled black bean sauce. I always have a container of the plain salted beans in my fridge… they keep forever. The one exception to bottled products is the sort where the black beans are in chili oil. Obviously you won’t want this for every dish, but this condiment is very good and doesn’t have the nasty taste that the commercial black bean sauces almost always have…

    • I have mine in an airtight jar in the ‘Chinese press’ where I keep all my oriental ingredients. It’s the biggest press in the kitchen and has great aromas lurking within.

  • Ye but they are still Vikings, that’s why they’re hard lads, have red hair and sharp nails.

    • Thanks Wes. I can still feel the cuts in my fingers from defeating them and getting them out of their armour.

  • I adore eating and photographing these lovely crustaceans! Great to see your post today

    • Thanks Michael,
      Excellent to hear from you.
      Best,
      C

  • So do those black beans actually taste like the bottled variety? I do like the bottled stuff because its salty – assumed that black beans in themselves tasted like other beans – not much?!

    • Absolutely not! They are incredibly pungent and add a great flavour to the proceedings. One has to soak them to get the excessive saltiness out of them. They are brilliant with beef too.

  • Relay interesting dish! Langouser is realy one of the jewels when it comes to seafood and fermented black beans I have never tested. Will look for it from now on! =)

    • Thanks for visiting Mats – You know I mean that!
      Best,
      Conor

  • Looks lovely conor, do you get fermented beans here? Haven’t used them before, should i look in Asian shops . Thanks . G.

    • Asian shops. I get mine in Caterworld on the Nangor Rd in Clondalkin. It is a big wholesale / retail operation with everything oriental possible.

  • One item that I have never seen make its way across the pond is langoustine. But I do eat them every chance I get when I see them on a menu in Europe. Such tender and flavorful little things. Your recipe sounds terrific…I could make it with prawns.

    • Excellent with prawns or shrimp, depending on where you are…

  • This recipe is so good
    I’m happy to have found your blog.I have a blog in Italian cuisine but I like to experiment with new flavors.
    your recipes are very good.

    • Thanks Alberto. I appreciate the comments.
      Best,
      Conor

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