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Katerina's Kouzina

Prawn Kritharoto

Get ready for a nice and typically summer dish: Prawn Kritharoto! Kritharoto is very popular in Greece. This combination with prawns is a modern recipe inspired by traditional ones. It reminds one of the Italian risotto.


For this dish I use the crocus of Kozani, the perfect Greek quality saffron. It’s also called the gold of the Greek earth. Kozani is a city in the north of Greece, in which the surrounding region produces some of the worlds finest saffron. If you are not lucky enough to be in Greece and have the real crocus of Kozani, you can replace it with another type of saffron.

Orzo pasta

Another important ingredient for the Prawn Kritharoto is orzo – the rice shaped pasta. It looks a bit like barley. Orzo actually means barley in Italian. The Greek translation of barley / orzo is Krithari and so we come closer to explaining the name of this summer dish. When preparing the orzo, it takes the texture and color of the stock you have prepared.

Prawn Kritharoto and white wine

Prawn Kritharoto combines well with a cold fresh white wine, but be in for a pleasant surprise if you dare to combine it with a red wine. Just recently we opened a Grande Cuvee from Nemea, a dry red wine bottled by Domain Skouras. It turned out to be a perfect companion for the Prawns Kritharoto.

As for the prawns, buy them fresh if you have the opportunity! Make a beautiful stock with the saffron, heads and shells of the prawns, garlic and bay leaves.

The orzo will get the texture and the color of the stock.

Sprinkle the Prawn Kritharoto with parsley and serve it in a beautiful bowl on a hot summer night!

Do you want to cook with Katerina at Odyssey?
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Krokus Kozanis or saffron, 3-4 threads
7-8 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 or 2 bay leaves
2 cups of orzo pasta
12 big prawns
1 tbsp fresh, flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup dry white wine


1. In large skillet type pan, heat 4 tbsp of the olive oil and then add prawns. After turning the prawns once take them from the skillet and lay them on a plate to cool and then shell all the prawns. Keep the shells for the stock and leave the oil in the skillet for the moment.
2. Now you bring 1lt of water to the boil in a large pan, add 1 tbsp salt, the heads and the shells of the prawns, the garlic and bay leaf and boil them for 10 minutes. Add the saffron, and boil for another 10 minutes. Let the freshly created stock cool a bit! Clean the prawns and remove the shells and the heads.
3. Take the skillet with the oil of the prawns and put on a low heat. Add 3 tbsp olive oil and the onion and cook it for 5 minutes until soft; stir in the orzo. Stir until the color of the pasta starts changing, pour the wine and keep stirring while the orzo absorbs the wine on low heat.
4. Add enough of the simmering stock to just cover the orzo. Stirring frequently, allow the orzo to absorb most of the stock before adding any more. Repeat the process, stirring well and adding stock as required. (If the stock runs out, continue with simmering water.) It will take 15-18 minutes to cook.
5. Taste the orzo for texture - it should be soft but still retain a little bite. Remove from the heat, add the prawns and parsley. Season to taste with salt, smoked paprika and freshly ground pepper. Cover and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Servings : 4
Ready in : 40 Minutes
Recipe Type : Fish

0 Reviews Found

pam colborne - 2015/08/11 at 00:23

This recipe looks absolutely fabulous! My sister and brother-in-law arrive from British Columbia next month and this is going to be the first evening meal that they are served. They have been to Greece and are always raving about the wonderful food. Well, I have been to Greece also and have cooked with the best- Katerina!!! So, thank you, dear friend- I will really impress with this dish!!!!
Best- Pam

Katerina - 2015/08/13 at 14:55

Hi Pam , this recipe is fantastic and easy for such a good cook as you. I remember the week we cooked together at the Odyssey with your friend, it was really fun ! Your sister will recognise the Greek feeling and spirit in this recipe. You could finish it up by adding some feta on the top of the dish just before you serve it. Best wishes and kali orexi!!

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