Prawn with Spinach and using Bread Crumble

This dish resembles a Greek prawn saganaki or a prawn vindaloo, but it’s really a similar dish some Israelis prepare. They toss in some crisped Arabic breadcrumbs to soak up the all-important juices. I’ve also added a lacing of Arak to give it a more intoxicating flavor.Well, you can replace the bread crumble with anything you think is better. For idea’s, see the images, because this is an excellent filler for other dishes.

Prawn, Spinach
Prawn, Spinach

This recipe takes about a hour to complete (if you include the making of the bread), and it’s officially an Arab/Jewish dish. You might not find this dish in a restaurant, unless you talk with our guides, who can instruct a chef to make it for you.


  • 2 loaves of stale Arabic Bread (see page 217), roughly crumbled
  • 2 tbsp sumac
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g/3½oz/7 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, cloves separated and finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 small hot red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
  • 900g/2lb large raw prawns/shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup Arak or Pernod
  • 6 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls of coriander/cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 handfuls of spinach leaves, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prawn, Spinach
Prawn, Spinach
  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas 4.
  2. Put the bread pieces on a baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle with sumac, drizzle over the oil and toss to combine.
  4. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, shaking the sheet a couple of times, until they are crisp and golden.
  5. Meanwhile, melt 60g/2¼oz/4 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion, then cover and sweat for 5 minutes until soft and translucent.
  6. Add the garlic, chilli, if using, and prawns/shrimp and toss to coat, then sear the prawns/shrimp for about 2 minutes on each side until they are light pink.
  7. Remove the prawns/shrimp, cover and set aside.
  8. Add the Arak to the pan and leave to bubble and reduce for 2–3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and coriander/cilantro and cook for 4–5 minutes until the tomatoes have softened.
  9. Add the spinach leaves, the prawns/shrimp and the remaining butter, season to taste with salt and pepper and toss to combine, cooking for 3–4 minutes until the spinach has wilted and the prawns are just cooked through.
  10. Squeeze over the lemon juice.
  11. Remove from the heat and transfer to bowls.
  12. Sprinkle over the crisped Arabic Bread crumbs and serve.
Prawn, Spinach
Prawn, Spinach
Prawn, Spinach
Prawn, Spinach
Prawn, Spinach
Prawn, Spinach

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