• Shrimp and grits (Adam Liaw)Source: Adam Liaw

Classic Southern-style shrimp and grits get a Japanese touch, topped with a tamari-cured egg yolk (yolk steeped in tamari soy sauce for 30 minutes). This gives the dish an extra salty-savoury boost.






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  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) tamari
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 4 button mushrooms, quartered
  • 8 medium raw prawns, peeled, intestinal tract removed, tails intact
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve


  • 90 ml milk
  • 55 ml thin cream
  • 80 g medium coarse polenta
  • 50 g butter


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 50 g finely chopped fennel
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) white wine
  • 4 canned whole peeled tomatoes and juice
  • salt and white pepper, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Pour the tamari into a small deep bowl. Add the egg yolks, being careful not to break them, then set aside to cure for about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, for the grits, place the milk and cream in a heavy-based saucepan and heat to just before boiling point. Whisking continuously, gradually rain in the polenta. Reduce the heat to low, then whisk in 100 ml water and season to taste. Simmer, stirring regularly, for 20-25 minutes or until thick and creamy.
  3. For the sauce, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add the fennel and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, then add the tomatoes and juices. Bring to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat, season to taste and set aside.
  4. When the grits are nearly ready, return the sauce to the heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the mushrooms to the sauce and cook for 1 minute, then add the prawns and simmer for another 4 minutes or until just cooked through. Season to taste.
  5. When the grits are ready, stir in the butter and season to taste.
  6. To serve, place a generous spoonful of grits in the middle of each bowl and spoon the prawn and tomato stew on top. Carefully remove the egg yolks from the tamari and place on top of each bowl, then scatter with sesame seeds and parsley.

Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.