"A Day in Tokyo" recipe + pairing | Prawns doria

By Vinomofo
4 months ago
5 min read

We were super intrigued by the Parisian-inspired, Japanese perfected Prawns Doria from the excellent A Day in Tokyo by Brendan Liew and Caryn Ng (available now) - and of course our minds went straight to the pairing. Here’s the recipe, plus a couple of wine recommendations so you can give it a crack at home.

Pairing tip: "You’ll need something that will sit alongside the buttery, cheesy goodness here without adding bitterness to the equation. I would be opting for chardonnay (as I often am), ether in still or sparkling form. The acid will cut through the creaminess and offer a counterpoint to the rich dairy flavours, and the delicate intricacies will pair wonderfully with the prawns and spice." - Pete, Wine Buyer.

Sorby Adams Handcrafted Chardonnay 2022

Lush, round, shapely chardonnay from Sorby Adams - an undisputed icon of the Australian wine landscape. Brimming with fresh citrus and tropical fruits and underscored by classic varietal richness. This chardy is genuinely unbelievable value for money: texturally it flows on the palate like a plush peach. Time on lees has meant that it has a yoghurty, creamy consistency and the finish is ever so delightful. I'm really damn excited about this wine, and I reckon you will be too mofo.

Guy Larmandier Cuvée Perlée Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne NV

You've probably heard the term 'grower Champagne', it's a rare find amongst thousands of hectares of vineyards to find someone who tends to the vines and to the cellar. The difference it makes is notable, as you get outstanding wines like this Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs that has seen precise care at every stage of its life. Classically saline, carrying notes of toasted brioche, honey nectar, lemon peel and a touch of triple cream brie. This is so full of nuances you won't know where to focus. Not only does this linger on the palate well after the wine is done, it'll stay in your memories fondly for years to come. Perfect if you're pairing your prawns with a celebration, but drinking this is always reason to celebrate in itself.




Doria was invented by the same grand chef who brought Purin à la mode to Japan: Swiss chef S. Weil of the Hotel New Grand in Yokohama. Created in 1927, the dish featured prawns and scallops simmered in a luxurious creamy sauce, which was draped over rice cooked in the finest butter. The doria was then topped with cheese and grilled (broiled) – a Japanese take on the French gratin. 

Seafood doria is still served in the Hotel New Grand today, but this version is inspired by the one at the Hotel Okura. Plain rice can be used in lieu of the butter rice for a lighter version.


1 tablespoon butter ½ onion, finely diced 

100 g (3½ oz) button mushrooms, stems removed 

400 g (14 oz) raw prawns, peeled  and deveined

3 tablespoons white wine 

Neutral oil, for greasing 

100 g (3½ oz) hard cheese, such as gruyere, cheddar  or parmesan, shredded

1 handful of parsley,  finely chopped 

green salad, to serve


400 ml (13½ fl oz) milk

50 g (1¾ oz) butter

60 g (2 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour

Butter rice

300 g (10½ oz) Japanese short-grain rice

100 g (3½ oz) butter

½ onion, finely diced

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon paprika 

1 pinch of cayenne pepper 

1 pinch of freshly ground 

black pepper

1 bay leaf

1 Start by making the doria sauce. Warm the milk in a saucepan over low heat, taking care not to let it boil. In a separate saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Stir constantly for 3 minutes, until the colour changes very slightly. Add the milk in three stages, stirring well to incorporate after each addition. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

2 Next make the butter rice. To wash the rice, place it in a sieve and submerge it in a large bowl filled with water. Using your palms, gently rub the rice back and forth in the sieve. When the water turns cloudy, drain the bowl, refill it with fresh water, and repeat the washing process another two times, or until the water runs clear. Drain the rice well.

3 Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan with a lid over medium heat and cook the onion until soft. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute to coat the rice grains in butter. Pour in 400 ml (13½ fl oz) of water and add the salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper and bay leaf. 

4 Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 14 minutes. After 14 minutes, remove from the heat but keep covered and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

5 Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

6 In a large frying pan over medium–high heat, melt the butter and add the onion and button mushrooms. Fry until browned, then add the prawns. As soon as the colour of the prawns changes, add the white wine and stir through, then remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7 To assemble the doria, grease a large baking dish or four individual dishes with oil. Spread the rice over the base of the dish, followed by the prawn and mushroom mix, the sauce and finally the cheese. Place the dish on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with parsley and serve hot with a green salad.

This recipe is from A Day in Tokyo by Brendan Liew and Caryn Ng, published by Smith Street Books, $39.99, available now.

Photography © Alana Dimou

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