Camarones al Mojo de Ajo Negro – con Pasta

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(Serves 8 as a Starter)

300 g fine pasta (spagettini, etc.)
3 cloves garlic
2 cloves black (fermented) garlic
2 Tbsp mild white rice vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1-1/2 tsp freshly ground black peppercorns
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and/or cilantro
6 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb prawns tails, peeled but with the end of the tails left on, patted dry
coarse sea salt, to taste
2–3 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, rinsed and finely chopped
green and pink finger lime spheres


Put the pasta in a large pot of generously salted boiling water and cook until just al dente. While the pasta is cooking, make a paste of the garlic cloves, black garlic cloves, vinegar, 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt and black pepper. When the pasta is ready, drain, leaving about a quarter cup of the cooking liquid behind, and return the pasta to the pot. Toss with 2 tablespoons of the butter and most of the parsley (save a little to sprinkle on the finished dish). Set aside and keep warm.


Put the rest of the butter and the oil into a wide skillet set over medium-high heat. When sizzling, add the chopped garlic to the pan, and just as the garlic begins to colour, add the prawns. Season with salt and toss until half cooked – about 2 minutes. Add the chopped chipotle, and continue tossing until just cooked – when the prawns curl, they are done. Quickly remove the prawns from the pan along with some of the garlic and chipotles. Add the pasta and the garlic/black garlic paste to the pan. Toss to mix the ingredients and heat through. The pasta should be quite dry, but add a bit of water if it seems too dry.

Arrange the prawns over the pasta on preheated plates and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and finger lime spheres.


Recipe Copyright © 2013, Don Dickson / South China Seas Trading Co. Limited