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Easy grilled prawn recipe for your summer shindig

21 Feb 2020 | Alison Roman

Don't put whole prawns in the 'too-hard' basket when it comes to preparing meals, welcome this sweet shellfish into your life in the form of grilling them. No need to worry about de-shelling these succulent beasts, just chuck them on the 'barbie' or a ripping hot skillet for a quick, easy and scrumptious meal. Alison Roman gives you describes the joys of eating prawns along with an easy recipe below.

Grilled Prawns with Crushed Tomatoes and Lots of Lime

grilled prawn with tomatoes and lime recipe alison romanDespite my mild shellfish allergy, I love cooking and eating large amounts of crabs, lobster, crayfish or prawns. There is a focused, ritualistic and possibly even hedonistic approach to the whole thing. Start by ripping off the head, maybe sucking the juices, then tearing the little limbs away, peeling back the shell (or sometimes eating it) to get at the very delicious, sweet meat. While you can do this with any aforementioned shellfish, every which way (grilled, steamed, boiled, sautéed), here, it’s prawns, and they’re grilled (or sautéed, if you like). As they come off the heat, shells still hot, they’re tossed in a bowlful of garlicky, crushed, preferably overripe tomatoes that have been further acidulated with lots and lots of lime and finished with a knob of butter. They’re tossed repeatedly, encouraging the prawny juices to spill out so everything can get to know each other, creating a sauce that dreams are made of.

serves 4–6


2 extremely ripe, large-ish tomatoes 2 garlic cloves, finely grated

4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra if cooking in a skillet

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) raw medium whole prawns (shrimp)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter pinch of chilli flakes or a few dashes of hot sauce (optional)

2 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving

1 handful coarsely chopped parsley or coriander (cilantro), tender leaves and stems

tortillas, rice or toast, for serving


Shishito Peppers with Yuzu Kosho

(page 64)


Charred Corn and Spring Onion  with Tomatillo (page 113)


1. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes in a large bowl, breaking up any large bits. Add the garlic, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and salt and pepper.

2. Heat a charcoal or gas barbecue to high. (Alternatively, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium–high heat.)

3. Toss the prawns with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

4. Place the prawns on the grill (or in the skillet), turning only once, until lightly charred and just cooked through, 3–4 minutes total, depending on their size. Immediately transfer to the bowl with the crushed tomatoes, add butter and toss to coat. Add chilli flakes, if using. Add the lime juice and let sit for a minute or two; the heat from the prawns will melt the butter, gently cooking the tomato and garlic.

5. Transfer the prawns to a large serving platter or bowl, making sure to pour the tomato-y juices over everything. Top with the parsley. Serve with lime wedges, and either warmed tortillas, a bowl of rice or slabs of toast for mopping up juices.


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This recipe is extracted from Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman
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