Scared of escareparing whole, shell-on prawns? Don’t be. Usually guests eye my handling of the creatures with some trepidation.
One reason might be because it’s so rare to see the raw ingredient in its natural state at the mainstream shops. Secondly, they’re picking up tips on how to prepare it. Or perhaps, the visitors are just praying I won’t give them food poisoning. Who knows? Thus far no complaints and only swoons!
Buying prawns from the supermarket proves to be prohibitively expensive and in the past I’ve resorted to locating every possible Chinese grocery store in the neighbourhood. The problem is that sometimes out of stock and I have nowhere else to turn to for my fortnightly shrimp fix.
To my delight I recently discovered Iceland stocks shellfish, which includes raw lobster tail and whole raw prawns. The latter costs £8 for a 600g box, which is not bad value.
Let’s put a Portuguese spin on prawns this time by combining them with peri-peri. In the UK, I would put peri-peri’s popularity down to the chicken fast food chain, Nando’s. For those who don’t know, peri-peri comprises a neutral oil, such as sunflower or vegetable oil, that is infused with the African bird’s eye chili, along with garlic, paprika and other spices. As most famous concoctions there are many variations to the recipe.
Truth be told, I’ve never come across African Bird’s Eye Chilli at the shops but a quick search reveals the hot stuff can easily be purchased on places such as eBay. In this case, I improvised by using a different variety but the beauty of cooking is that you tweak the flavours, such as amount of garlic and chilli used, exactly to your taste. So have a play!
What is your favourite way to use fresh chilli?
Love Sauces? Check out these books!
- The Sauce Bible
- The Sauce Cookbook Dreams are Made of
- Paul Gayler’s Sauce Book
- Barbecue!: Sauces, Rubs and Marinades
Author: Michelle Minnaar
You’ll never want to eat plain, ol’ boring prawns again.
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 60ml (4 tbsp) garlic, minced
- 5ml (1 tsp salt)
- 10 red chillies, finely chopped
- 5ml (1 tsp) paprika
- 4kg prawns
- Place the oil, garlic, salt, chillies and paprika in a saucepan and heat gently. Do not boil.
- Take off heat, cool, and save in a clean bottle. Steep as long as you have time. The oil should colour to a pleasant reddish colour.
- Slit prawns down their backs and devein. Leave heads on, or remove them if you prefer. Depending on the size of your frying pan, cook them in batches.
- Pour 45ml (3 tbsp) peri-peri oil in a the pan (Shake first to make sure you get some of the chilli and garlic as well.) and when it starts sizzling, add the prawns in one even layer.
- Fry for 4-5 minutes, turning frequently, until cooked. Season with salt and pepper and tip into a warm serving bowl.
- Garnish, if you wish, with chopped fresh parsley. Serve with rice or bread and butter.
– Groundnut or sunflower oil can be used instead of vegetable oil.
- Adjust the garlic and chilli quantities to your taste.
- Serve on a bed of rice or with bread.
Courses Main Course
Serving Size 248.4g
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 19.7 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 406 mg
Sodium 446 mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
Sugars 1.7 g
Protein 32.6 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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P.S. This post was commissioned by Iceland.