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Dried "VEGETABLE FLAKES" are nothing to “snicker” at  . . . (I can almost picture your mocking grins and my hand slowly raising itself and getting ready to give you a little slap) … HOW DARE I ?!

It’s that stuff you’ve noticed when face-to-face with a vegetable soup that you add boiling water to for a quick lunch at the office or just lazing around at home in your pyjamas and old socks ! Okay, so if you have had one of these instant soups in the past, then why are you giggling now ?

I’m exploring new available ingredients that we never think of and that always laying around in our pantries … Vegetable flakes are practical, easy, don’t take up any space (because they’re dehydrated), ready to be used for many different things, and gluten-free. We often use garlic and onion flakes but rarely the rest (tomato, spinach, leek, bell pepper, celery flakes), and yet they add flavor and color to dishes that require just a bit of that extra vegetable taste that only require some simmering and without having to chop up just a little part of a whole bunch of fresh vegetables.

I had a bag lying around. Instead of breading the shrimp, I used these flakes. It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s subtle, it’s nice … and by the way, I’m thinking about dehydrating my own vegetables now and making my own vegetable flakes for this winter… :)

vegetable-flakes crusted grilled prawns




  • 450-500 grams large fresh shrimp or prawns (18-20)

pre-soak :

  • 1 litre (4 cups) ice cold water (or cold water with ice cubes)
  • 5 grams (1¼ tsp) baking soda

marinade :

  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) lime/lemon juice
  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil (or a mix of olive, vegetable and sesame oil)
  • 1 gram (1/2 tsp) ground peppercorns
  • 10 grams (2 tsp) sea salt

crust :

  • 40-50 grams (9-10 tbsp) mixed dried vegetable flakes (or combine 1/2 tbsp garlic flakes + 1 tbsp onion flakes + 1 tbsp scallion flakes + 6-7 tbsp mixed vegetable flakes usually made of onion, tomato, carrot, leek, peppers, celery and sometimes with parsley and spinach too)
  • optional : add a pinch or two of chili powder


  • remove outer casings from your shrimp, leave heads and tails on
  • fill a bowl with ice cold water, add baking soda, mix and soak shrimp inside for 15 minutes
  • remove shrimp, dry off and marinate in the lemon/lime juice, oil, salt and pepper mix for 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator
  • prepare the vegetable flakes crust by reducing the flakes into a finer sandy powder in a food-processor
  • preheat oven to 210°C (or heat up your grill or barbecue)
  • remove shrimp from the marinade, shake off excess and thread onto skewers and sprinkle with ground vegetable flakes on both sides, press gently so that the crust adheres to the shrimps
  • bake in the oven (or barbecue/grill) for 8-10 minutes total (4-5 minutes on each side) and serve warm (with some rice) …