Cucumber And Prawn Mousse

This is a recipe which has been worked on and worked on. The first few times I trialed it (and others also trialed it) it worked perfectly, but subsequent attempts resulted in a damn good taste, but a rather too liquid consistency.

This presented a problem. The obvious solution is to incorporate some gelatine…but, gelatine reacts unpredictably with cream (see The Low-down on Gelatine) so I have sought to try to solve the challenge in a different way.

Partly inspired by the original Snaffles mousse

One source of inspiration was an old favourite – a famous late sixties, early seventies starter known as Snaffles Mousse. This was an impressive, instant starter, invented by Nicholas Tinné, the owner of Snaffles restaurant which was in Dublin. Effectively in those heady days all you had to do was to whip up a tin of Campbell’s beef consommé with some Philadelphia cream cheese, add a little curry powder, and Voilá! Curiously the resultant mousse had an elegant, slightly fishy taste, so often I would make a virtue out of the necessity and crown the confection with a gloriously extravagant king prawn.

“This has been variously described by people who did not know what it contained as a ‘creamy froth of smoked fish’….’seafood, probably mainly lobster or crab, very light and airy, exquisite and unobtrusive’”

Hilary Fawcett and Jeanne Strang, The Good Food Guide Dinner Party Book

But sadly my stalwart, reliable recipe also began to let me down. Originally, Campbell’s beef consommé contained gelatine, enabling the mousse to set. Then, they reduced the gelatine content and the result became looser and looser. It became harder and harder to find to original type. And then supplies in Europe dried up altogether.

cucumber and prawn mousse recipe
It still tasted wonderful…but it was a bit loose….

Recreating Snaffles Mousse

To find out how to recreate this iconic mousse, go to one of my very favourite blogs, Luke Honey’s The Greasy Spoon, if I could write with the gay abandon of Mr Aitch, I would be very happy!

Inspired by him, our mousse is now stiff thanks to the cream cheese, and no thanks to the cucumber (which I think was what did for me in the previous incarnations). But that’s fine – the cream cheese can stand up to the cucumber these days.

I’ve also added in the curry powder, which gives it a bit of character…. a bit of je-ne-sais-pas.

It’s now definitely a keeper.

This elegant starter will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

Recipe for curried prawn and cucumber mousse

Serves 6-8


  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 200g/7 oz smoked salmon
  • 240 ml/1 cup double cream
  • 200g/7 oz full fat cream cheese (Philadelphia comes in 180g tubs, but most supermarkets will sell their own brand in larger tubs)
  • 250g/9 oz frozen cooked prawns – defrosted
    Salt and pepper
  • 6-8 extravagant King prawns
  • Juice and zest of a lemon
  • 1 tsp mild curry powder
  • Toast to serve


  1. Zest the lemon, and add to the defrosted prawns.
  2. Put the lemon juice and the salmon together in a magimix and blend. Add the cream cheese, blend a bit more. Slowly pour in the double cream. Season. Add the curry powder. Mix again.
  3. Divide the cucumber slices into however many you are serving, and then divide each pile in two. Use half of each pile to line the bottom of each individual glass bowl with the cucumber slices. Spoon over a couple of serving spoons of the smoked salmon mix, a couple of spoonfuls of prawns, a couple more spoonfuls of smoked salmon mix, and few more prawns, the other half of the pile of cucumber, and top with an extravagant king prawn.
  4. Serve with toast (and some might want butter).
cucumber and prawn mousse recipe
Garnish with an extravagant king prawn.

Follow this link for other prawn recipes on Saucy Dressings.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related Posts

Sumptuous salmon and asparagus en croûte

This magnificent dish doesn’t take long in terms of preparation time, and it makes an impressive centrepiece to a grand dinner party. However, we made…
Read More

Prince Oblonsky’s tarragon chicken with a soft onion-vermouth sauce

“No comfort food requires fresh tarragon.” Grace Dent, Comfort Eating This is quite a versatile recipe. On the one hand…
Read More

Modigliani white fish fillets with a mussel and saffron sauce

I went with a friend to the Modigliani exhibition at the Tate Modern. Our tickets included lunch at the museum’s Level 9 restaurant, with its…
Read More

Sign up to our Saucy Newsletter

subscribe today for monthly highlights of foodie events, new restaurant at home menus, recipe ideas and our latest blog posts