This appetizer is beautiful! It was something that I wanted to make to say that I could make it. It did take a couple of tries to get it right. Recipes, especially posted by restaurants, don’t always detail the procedure.  My recipe takes all of that into account so that you too can turn out this perfect dish, if you would like to try. It is beautiful.

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  • Course Appetizer
  • Cuisine French
  • Keyword Do-Ahead, Elegant, Fine Food, For Foodies, New Years, Special Dinner, Spring
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
2 people 20 min
Passive Time Total Time
20min 40 min
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
2 people 20 min
Passive Time Total Time
20min 40 min
This appetizer can be prepared over 2 days. The shrimp can be peeled, pounded thin and formed into the desired shape the day before. In addition, the vegetables can be peeled and sliced ahead of time and stored in the fridge overnight.
Degree of Difficulty
  • 2 large prawns per person
Lemon and oil vinaigrette
  • 3 tbspn very fine olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 tbspn freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground pepper (pink and black peppercorns)
  • 4 fresh Pink grapefruit segments per serving
  • 2 large radishes very thinly sliced using a mandolin
  • 1 small heart of fennel (the smallest part) thinly sliced using a mandolin
  • 10-12 leaves mache greens or micro greens
Servings: people
  1. Gather all ingredients before starting recipe.
  2. Trim a reusable plastic bag to the approximate size of the serving plate that you plan to use. Cut open 3 side of the bag, leaving the 4th in tact, so that you have a flap that will fold over the shrimp.
  3. Peel and remove shrimp from shell.
  4. Slice shrimp in half and lay out raw shrimp on one half of the plastic bag. Place shrimp in freezer for 5 minutes to get it firm.
  5. After 5 minutes, using a flat mallet, gently pound the shrimp until you form a thin layer, less than a quarter of an inch. Adjust the shrimp to fill any gaps left after the shrimp has been flattened. Square the edges, using a knife, and check to see if the shrimp, cut in half lengthwise (after freezing), will fit your serving platter.
  6. Place the shrimp on a cookie sheet so that the shrimp lies flat and place in the freezer until the shrimp is hard. About 30 minutes or overnight.
Lemon and Oil Vinaigrette
  1. Mix 3 tablespoon of fine oil and one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice with a pinch of salt and a pinch of ground black pepper corns. Pour into a plastic bottle with a nozzle tip.
  1. Peel and segment one grapefruit, you should have 4 segments per serving and add to a small bowl.
  2. Remove the heart of a small fennel bulb, and using a mandolin, slice very thin and add to the grapefruit segments.
  3. Slice 2 red radishes, using a mandolin on the same setting, add to grapefruit segments.
  4. Tear 10-12 leaves from a mache green and add to grapefruit.
  5. Lightly season the vegetable mix with salt and peppercorn mixture and then drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss to combine, don't over dress, squeeze a little, taste and add more if more is needed.
  1. Remove shrimp from freezer, remove shrimp from plastic, and using a serrated knife, cut the shrimp cake to your serving plate size. Each serving should be about 6" long and about 2" wide. Place the shrimp cakes on your serving platter.
  2. Drizzle some dressing over the shrimp and season with salt and pepper corn mixture.
  3. Place 4 grapefruit segments on the shrimp, opposite edges and diagonally.
  4. Top each grapefruit segment with a small mount of fennel, then one slice of radish, and finally one leaf of mache.
Recipe Notes

You can further decorate this dish with tiny red and green dots. I used food coloring mixed with a couple of tablespoons of cauliflower pure from my main course. You could also mix the food coloring with a bit if mayonnaise.

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