Fiery Garlic Chilli King Prawns

These were a creation twenty five years ago, for a ‘grazing’ barbecue with two friends Cathy and Aisha.

Grazing is a phenomena where you eat lots of small courses over the course of an afternoon. When cooking on a campfire on a cool summer’s day (we have to be realistic as we do live in the UK, and some of use live north and high up) it’s the ideal way to eat and stay warm. Another friend, Stephen Deakin took grazing to an art form. He was general manager of the Copthorne Hotel in Newcastle, and if you were lucky, you had an invite to one of his ‘High Teas’ where there’d be up to 30 bite sized courses with a different wine with every course.

Back to the chilli prawns, and for these you need the following ingredients:prawns

  • whole king prawns (in their shells, and as many as you wish to eat – I warn you, they’re moreish);
  • tomato puree;
  • chilli oil;
  • fresh coriander;
  • fresh garlic;
  • two limes;
  • one fresh lemon.

Take a trusty freezer bag, and squirt in tomato puree. Halve the limes, and squeeze the juice into the bag. Add a teaspoon full of chilli oil. Finely chop the garlic (at least a couple of cloves) and coriander and add to the other ingredients and give the bag a good shake, also squidging the ingredients together. Last, drop in the king prawns, seal the bag and shake until the prawns are thorough covered.

shrimpLeave for half an hour in the bag and then remove and skewer the prawns. The prawns won’t take long to cook, a couple of minutes until they’ve turned pink then give them one more minute before lifting from the grill. Some of the heat of the chilli oil and flavour of the garlic will have been absorbed through the shells. Break the shells off and toss them on the fire as you eat. Add a wedge of lemon as a garnish and plenty of pinot gris to wash the prawns down.

If you’re squeamish, you don’t have to buy prawns with heads, but do buy them in their shells and fresh. For those who are adventurous, if you do have prawns with heads on, suck out the insides. It tastes great!

For my American friend, what we call king prawns, you call shrimp. Shrimp for us are small prawns (but remember it’s our language!). Tiger prawns are ideal for this recipe.