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Vegan MoFo day 9 - Getting retro with a vegan prawn cocktail recipe

Generally, a new Fry's product is a reason for celebration. Or at least mild curiosity.  And spending £3.50-odd.

When my local health food store started stocking Fry's battered meat-free crispy prawns, I felt duty-bound to give them a try. I've normally found vegan fish-free stuff is a bit of a mixed bag - I really like VBites fish free fingers, but their fish-style steaks freak me out, due to the fact the steaks are a bit too close to what I remember actual fish tasted (and textured) like.

Fry's prawns are happily far enough away from being like fish that you can get them down your neck, and battered enough that you'll be able to do it with a smile on your face.

What better use to put said prawns to then that most retro of starters, the prawn cocktail? These were the staple of restaurant menus in the 1980s - Even the colours look like they should be on Dallas.

Traditionally, prawn cocktails were served with Marie Rose sauce over a bed of lettuce and for extra retro points, serve in a sundae glass. I always thought Marie Rose sauce sounded particularly elegant until, while working in a pub, the chef told me it was just tomato ketchup and mayonnaise mixed together.

While the prawn cocktail is no longer the height of culinary sophistication - and mostly lives on as a popular flavour of crisps - Fry's prawns convinced me it was in need of veganising. In true vegan style, I've added avocado to the original recipe, as well as spring onions, but the Marie Rose sauce is still the same mix as was back in the 80s.

Vegan prawn cocktail

One tablespoon of vegan mayonnaise
One teaspoon of ketchup
Couple of shakes of hot sauce
Shake of vegan Worcestershire sauce
Squeeze of lime juice
A few handfuls of chopped batavia lettuce
Five battered fish-style pieces
Half an avocado, cut into small dice
A spring onion, thinly sliced

How you do it
Mix mayonnaise, ketchup, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and lime juice to make Marie Rose dressing.
Arrange batavia lettuce on a plate, top with avocado and spring onion.
Cook prawns according to instructions, and put on lettuce.
Pour over dressing, and top with an extra squeeze of lime juice.

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  1. This is the first I've heard about Fry's, and I'm excited that there's another vegan shrimp option out there! There's definitely some room for improvement with vegan seafood in general... But regardless of all that, I do love the sound of your fancy shrimp cocktail.

  2. Awesome, I will have to look out for these Fry's prawns, I have found seitan prawns a couple of time at a Oriental food store, but its been a while, and that was when I went to Bristol.

  3. Great idea for the retro theme. I've tried these but found the ones from Chinese supermarkets more prawn like. The Fry's prawns were more like chicken but tasty with it. I used them to make lemon chicken.

  4. ooh fancy! I am a bit wary of mock fish as I never liked fish a lot as a kid but as I never had a prawn cocktail this sounds like the best way I would like to try it

  5. I used to looove prawn cocktail and if I ever spot those prawns whilst I'm in the UK I'm totally making your recipe.

  6. Prawn cocktail...you've gone all out! :) Fancy! Marie Rose does sound awfully fancy...how funny, I don't blame you for thinking it was fancier than just ketchup and mayo!

  7. ahaha so 'Dallas', very retro! I always forget there are vegan prawns in the freezer section. 'Maria Rose' sounds like a ballad.

  8. Good call, this is the ultimate retro recipe! I absolutely adore vegan prawns. My local Chinese in Manchester made them perfectly, they were so so good.

  9. I've never heard it called Marie Rose sauce. I've lamely all these years referred to it as "cocktail sauce". Now, I have a cool retro name for it. You are so right about vegan fish being a mixed bag!!

  10. Prawn cocktail is quintessentially retro, but the Marie Rose sauce itself is timeless...

    I think you nailed this prompt!

  11. I've never had Prawn Cocktail in any form, but this sounds doable and the picture looks delicious!


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