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Mediterranean-style king prawns, when Venetian cuisine meets the Aussie taste

“I pescatori del Veneto scottavano appena il pescato fresco per godere dei suoi sapori”. Source: Mattia Secchiero

As a special on Gusto Italian Bistro restaurant's menu, this recipe combines the cooking traditions of Italian fishermen with fermented black garlic and chilli.

32-year-old Mattia Secchiero is chef and owner of the Gusto Italian Bistro restaurant in Ettalong Beach, on the Central Coast.

Among the many recipes on his menu focused on Venetian and Emiliana cuisine, we find the Mediterranean-style king prawns.

The recipe comes from the “poor” cuisine of the Venetian sailors who “simply pan-cooked everything they fished”, Mattia told SBS Italian.

“We called them ‘Mediterranean-style king prawns’ because we added chilli and a 100% Australian product – black garlic – to match the taste in Australia”.

Here is the recipe.

Mediterranean-style king prawns


  • 20 king prawns size xl
  • 20 gr finely chopped onion
  • 5 finely-chopped fermented black garlic gloves
  • 2 finely chopped chillies
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 12 cherry tomatoes cut in halves 
  • 50 ml fish broth
  • 10 gr butter
  • 10 gr chopped fresh parsley 
  • 10 gr chopped fresh dill
  • Salt 
  • Black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil


In a pan, heat the oil well and, once hot, add the well-cleaned prawns. Season with salt and pepper, and brown for two minutes.

Turn them over and proceed in the same way (they must be soft and not overcooked), then let's deglaze with white wine. Once cooked, place the king prawns on a paper towel and cover.

In the same pan, add the onion, black garlic, cherry tomatoes, chilli and butter.

Cook for a few minutes, add the fish broth and allow it to create a very firm and thick sauce. Remove from the cook and add parsley and dill.

We are now ready to serve. In a deep dish, place the king prawns to create a flower design, add the tomatoes and sprinkle with the sauce. Decorate with fresh dill and some edible flowers to give colour.

Serve with freshly toasted bread that will be used at the end to soak in the sauce (“fare la scarpetta” in Italian).

Buon appetito!

For the chef's advice on which wine to match to this dish and for some curiosities about the recipe, listen to the podcast (only available in Italian):

Gamberoni alla mediterranea, la cucina veneta incontra il gusto australiano
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