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Prawn Cocktail in Aspic

Submitted by Chazza 10 February 2010

Inspired by the discussion about jellied salad and prawn cocktail in the thread 'Food Fads'. I realized that the jelly in question is aspic. So I've separated the usual sauce into a firm base and a clear spicy aspic to hold the prawns and lettuce.

You can make the stock and prepare the eggshells in advance. I chose small prawns but large ones should work well too.



For the spicy tomato aspic :

  • 700 ml water
  • 500g of fresh best quality Plum Tomatoes - skinned, chopped and crushed in the pan
  • 1 stick of celery – chopped
  • 1 red shredded chilli
  • 1 dessert spoon Worcester Sauce
  • 1 dessertspoon spirit vinegar
  • 1 dessertspoon lemon juice
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Thyme
  • Whites and shells of 2 large eggs - retain the yolks
  • 50g gelatine

Main ingredients :

  • Yolks of 2 large eggs
  • 1 level teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 1 level teaspoon sea salt
  • 110 ml groundnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon spirit vinegar
  • 450 g small prawns
  • 1 crisp-hearted lettuce such as Cos
  • Lime wedges


1. In advance ... save some egg shells from a previous recipe, remove as much of the inner membrane as you can then bake them very gently in an oven until bone dry. Be careful not to burn any remaining membrane. Allow to cool then pulverise into as fine a powder as possible.

2. The day before ... break up the tomatoes in a pan and add the water. Bring to a rolling boil, stir, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add all other stock ingredients (not the gelatine), bring to a boil again, cover and return to a simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let this stand overnight, for up to 24 hours.

3. Prepare the prawns. Place them in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge until needed.

4. Sieve stock into another pan, press out any easy-to-extract liquid and reduce volume to about 570 ml (1 pint). Sweeten slightly if required. Leave it to cool.

5. Meanwile place a 570 ml (1 pint) pudding basin on a damp tea towel, so it will remain steady. Add the egg yolks, the mustard powder and the salt. Mix well.

6. Add the groundnut oil drop by drop and whisk it in. Make sure each drop of oil is thoroughly whisked in before adding the next. When the mixture begins to thicken add a teaspoon of vinegar, which will thin it down.

7. Continue to add the oil, whisking all the time. Using a small spoon, coat the base of a terrine with this mayonnaise.

8. Now take a shallow frying pan large enough to stand the terrine in. If you use a tall-sided pan you will find water condenses inside the terrine – you should avoid this. Add water to a low level and bring to a simmer. Then place the terrine in the simmering water, allow to warm until the inside is too hot to touch, then cook for three more minutes. Remove the terrine from the pan, cool in a bath of room temperature water them place in the freezer.

9. Skim the stock, add the whites and crushed shells of two eggs and the gelatine broken up into small pieces. Bring to a near boil very slowly, whisking the whole time. A thick crust should develop. Stop whisking for a minute, and let the liquid rise up to the top of the pan.

10. Finally, strain the liquid through a muslin cloth, keeping the crust intact, as it will act as a filter. You will now have a clear pink liquid that will set and become aspic. Test this by dripping a small amount onto something very cold. If it refuses to set, reduce it until it will. Place the container (covered) in the frying pan of water as above to prevent it from setting until you need it.


11. Shred the lettuce, using the greenest leaves only. Make sure you cut the leaves very finely as long strands will be hard to slice and will pull the terrine apart. Keep this chilled.

12. Arrange a layer of lettuce on the set mayonnaise to fill about one third of the remaining space then very carefully cover with liquid aspic. Press the lettuce down, as it will want to float. This reduces air bubbles, which don’t look very good. Keep going until it is all under the surface of the liquid then transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes or until set.

13. Fill the remaining space close to the top of the container with chilled prawns and cover with aspic as before. This should be easier as the prawns will tend to stay where you put them. Once again, transfer to the freezer until set. Now place in a refrigerator so it doesn’t freeze solid.

To serve

14. Chill a large thick plate, set this aside, take a second plate that has just been slightly cooled and turn out the entire terrine. Immediately place the chilled plate over it and flip it right way up. Slice and serve two slices per person on ice-cold white plates, with a wedge of lime.


Please note: this recipe has been submitted by a user of this website and is not one of Delia's. We cannot, therefore, take any responsibility if the recipe contains errors, does not work or is not as you expect it to be, although, as our users are keen cooks, we are confident it will be a great dish. Delia tests each of her recipes three times, which is why you can always be sure of success.



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