If you like to experiment with citrus, try hunting down a fresh yuzu. It’s the only cirtrus that can grow this far north, and Wade Bennett at Rockridge Orchards sells the hazardously thorny plants for home gardens (he suggests that when planted under bedroom windows, they make an excellent deterrent to teens who might be tempted to sneak out). Add a few ounces of yuzu juice to the orange juice at the end of its reduction time, and the orange syrup will have an extra kick of light acidity.
For the Grand Marnier mayonnaise
- 1 cup Grand Marnier
- 4 cups orange juice
- 3 tablespoons dried orange zest, ground to a fine dust in a coffee grinder
- 2 cups mayonnaise
For the prawns
- 1 quart canola oil, for deep-frying
- 20 wild-caught spot prawns or other shrimp (about 2 pounds)
- 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
- Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add the Grand Marnier to burn off some of the alcohol. Don’t reduce the liquid further. Once the alcohol fumes burn off, remove the pan from the heat immediately.
- In a separate pan over medium-low heat, reduce the orange juice to a syrup until about ½ cup is left. Cool; then combine with the Grand Marnier and orange zest powder.
- Chill until completely cold; then combine with the mayonnaise. Keep refrigerated until serving.
- Heat the canola oil to 350°F in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Dredge the prawns in the cornstarch, shaking off any excess. Fry the prawns in small batches until crispy, about 2 minutes, and drain on paper towels.
- In a large bowl, toss the hot prawns in the Grand Marnier mayonnaise to coat. Serve immediately.