clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Pan-fried Garlic Butter Prawns Recipe

  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


These Pan-Fried Garlic Butter Prawns are easy to make but look and taste impressive, perfect for a dinner party.


  • 20 whole shell-on prawns, weighing about 600g (2 lb)
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) butter
  • 5ml (1 tsp) vegetable oil
  • rock salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ lemon, juice only


  1. Devein the prawns. With a sharp knife, score down the back of the shrimp. Remove the thin, digestive tract with the tip of the knife. Repeat with the rest of the prawns. 
  2. Rinse the prawns under running water and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients which won’t take long. 
  3. Melt the butter, add the oil and generously grind salt in a large frying pan. 
  4. Cooking the prawns. When the butter mixture starts bubbling, add the garlic and prawns in a single layer. Fry over a high heat for about 3 minutes, or until the sides of the prawns turn pink. 
  5. Using tongs, turn the prawns on their other sides and arrange in a single layer again. 
  6. Sprinkle lemon juice all over the prawns and cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. The prawns should be completely pink all over, no gray bits. 
  7. Serve immediately on a bed of rice, with green salad and a glass of white wine. Enjoy!


  • To serve more people, simply multiply the ingredients accordingly.
  • If you like sauce as much as I do, I suggest you do the following. Once you’ve removed all the prawns from the pan, ensure you scrape off all the garlic too, otherwise it will burn. Sticking to the ratios in the recipe, add more butter, oil and garlic to the pan and let it sizzle. Once the garlic has softened, pour in the lemon juice and give it a stir. At this point you can decide whether to pour the lemon butter garlic sauce in a pot for dipping purposes, or drown the prawns in sauce instead. Use crusty bread to mop up all the sauce!
  • You can use peeled prawns in this recipe but the shell-on version tastes so much better!
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Pan fry
  • Cuisine: South African

Keywords: garlic butter prawns recipe, lemon butter garlic prawns, how to cook prawns in a pan, how to cook prawns, how to cook prawns in shell, how long to cook prawns in a pan, pan fried prawns, prawn recipe, how to cook king prawns, how to make prawns, prawn recipes, south africa