Tasty Mexican Prawns from Responsible Fishermen
by Duke Moscrip
Handled With Care
At Duke’s, exceptional quality is our top priority. If food is headed to our kitchens, you can bet that I have invested a lot of time and energy into sourcing it. I search long and hard to ensure I am providing my customers with the best-tasting and most sustainable ingredients.
Our prawns are wild-caught in the Sea of Cortez, near Guaymas in the Gulf of California. The water there is rich with nutrients, creating an ideal environment for prawns to flourish. With a firm texture and bold flavor, these prawns are expertly handled from the moment they are brought up in the net–and it’s not just any net, either. Our fishermen use special turtle extruder equipment so that sea turtles are not brought in as bycatch. Preserving the Sea of Cortez’s ecosystem is incredibly important to us at Duke’s, and to our fishermen partners.
The shrimp fishery is the most important in Mexico, generating the highest number of jobs and utilizing the greatest number of vessels. From September through March, the shrimp fishing season produces annual landings of around 40,000 tons of shrimp! That’s a lot of appetizers.
But more importantly, the Mexican shrimp fishery is committed to sustainability, and in the last several years have added programs to consolidate vessels, update fishing gear and technologies, improve monitoring, and make TEDs (Turtle Extruder Devices) mandatory on all vessels. Companies like AquaStar are heavily involved in these initiatives, and Duke’s is proud to support them in their efforts towards creating a sustainable fishery.
“With most customers, we focus on the logistics of the business, but with Duke, we focused our meetings on gaining an in-depth understanding of the story behind each piece of seafood that would be served at his restaurants,” AquaStar representative Dow Li-Ko told me after our first meeting.
As soon as I tried their Wild Mexican Prawns, I knew they were the best choice for my customers. They have a clean taste with a pure Prawn aroma that can only come from a superior resource with excellent seafood handling. Partnering with AquaStar has been a pleasure and a privilege, one I hope to continue for many years to come.
Our Prawns del Cabo just wouldn’t be the same without Wild Mexican Prawns. Many of our lead chefs come from Hispanic heritage, and they jumped at the chance to draw from their traditional recipes in order to create a unique combination for the Pacific Northwest. Fresh organic herbs and citrus vinaigrette bring out the flavor of the prawns; the end result is a delicious spin on a Mexican classic.
My daughter’s favorite prawn dish is our “Un” Chopped Seafood Salad that combines grilled wild Mexican prawns and wild Alaska Weathervane scallops with roasted cashews, avocado, and Feta cheese. My granddaughter likes her prawns grilled with butter and garlic, with a sprinkling of parsley. I like them in just about anything: with pasta, coconut breaded, or the star ingredient in a cheesy quesadilla.
Sometimes we get a little bit loco at Duke’s when talking about sustainability, but all kidding aside, we love that our prawns come from the most sustainable fishery in the world, with a taste that’s out of this world.