Red Denia prawn

Gamba rosa de Denia
Quique Dacosta, Restaurante
Chef: Quique Dacosta
Country: España
City: 03700 Dénia (Alicante)
Address: Las Marinas, km. 3
(+34) 965784179

Denia is the world capital of the red prawn and Quique Dacosta is the supreme exponent of the local gastronomy, not to mention one of the finest chefs in the world. The absolute best product is purchased for his restaurant and he knows how to prepare it with the culture and science of one who has developed some of the most avant-garde culinary concepts and techniques. In this dish, we find an accumulation of all these factors: a unique delicacy, wisdom accumulated over generations, a reinterpretation of its doneness–bordering on almost raw–with insightful complements in the sauce and flowers that add color, aroma and flavor to the majesty of the shellfish without altering its natural idiosyncrasy in the slightest. The head, protected by the shell, is concentrated with the finest iodized flavors, while the meaty tail expresses the sweet beauty and juices of the prawn itself along with the flower petals that aromatize within the essence of the dish.

The Recipe

Prawn and crustacean stock:

  • 2 kg mantis shrimp
  • 3 kg prawn heads
  • 2 kg lobster heads
  • 1.5 kg scarlet prawn heads
  • 20 l mineral water

For the prawn stock infused with rose petals.

  • 1 l prawn and crustacean stock
  • 250 g wild roses. (different varieties)
  • 25 g distilled rose water
  • 3 g mallow rose

For the prawn.

  • 280 g red Denia prawns (4 prawns per plate)
  • Himalaya glass salt
  • Mild olive oil
  • Wooden skewers

Texturized rose water:

  • 200 g rose water
  • Himalayan glass salt
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • 0.5 g xanthan gum
  • Rose petals

Also have on hand:

Hatsina leaves (aniseed-flavored touch)
Soaked green unsprouted soy seeds


Prawn and crustacean stock:

Cut the scarlet prawns and lobsters in half.
Place the prawn heads and the whole mantis shrimp in a pot and add the other sliced shellfish heads.
Cover with water and, over a very low flame, cook for 3 hours.
Skim the stock throughout the entire process.
Though it may only be barely perceptibly boiling, the evaporation of water will concentrate the flavor.
After three hours, leave to sit for another six hours.
Strain, pass through a sieve and set aside the quantity necessary for the service.

For the prawn stock infused with rose petals.

Warm the stock to 45ºC and infuse with the different wild rose petals. Salt to taste mildly, add the mallow rose and leave to sit for 4 minutes.
Strain and add the distilled rose water when adding the liter of stock, without exceeding 45ºC.

For the prawn.

Remove the shell from the tail, taking care to not remove and head meat in the process.
Remove the intestine and the head of the tail using the point of a wooden skewer and carefully pierce with this wooden skewer, approximately 20 cm long and as thin as possible.
Brush with mild olive oil and salt to taste.
Sear on the grill on all sides, but only the head, not the tail, and move to a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 2 minutes at 80ºC with 12% humidity.
Remove and brush with the oil and remaining juices, remove the skewer (which helps prevent the tail from shrinking with the heat), and arrange on the plate.

Texturized rose water:

Mix using a turmix and set aside in a pulverizer

Rose petals:

Choose the most fresh and tender wild rose petals found around the Montgó region. It is important that they be in the budding stage, rather than fully opened flowers, which would be too fibrous.
Once clean and cut with a fine knife tip, sprinkle with texturized rose water.
Arrange over the extension of the warm prawn.