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How to Make Chilli Prawn Paste - Quick and Easy Recipe

Updated on January 5, 2017
Diana Grant profile image

I'm a food lover, cooking family meals for over 50 years. Before qualifying as a lawyer, I worked in my family's restaurant & helped run it.

How to Make Chilli Prawn Paste or Chilli Shrimp Paste, if you Prefer

I absolutely love chilli, possibly to the extent where it could be said that I have an addiction. It doesn’t have to be so hot that my eyes stream and I run around choking, though I confess this does happen from time to time. I actually prefer the slightly milder chillies, where you can taste the flavor, as well as being hit by the capsaicin.

This is my Chilli Prawn Paste

A Jar of Homemade Chilli Prawn Paste
A Jar of Homemade Chilli Prawn Paste | Source

As soon as I see a bottle of chilli prawn paste, I start drooling

So I have to keep it hidden out of view, in a cupboard; otherwise I would be eating it by the teaspoon all day long……and you know what that can do to a person’s digestion. Let’s just say very good if you want a natural colonic clean-out, not so good if you are travelling!

I first got this idea for a recipe after buying Chinese crispy prawn chilli from a Chinese wholesalers in North London

I started craving it, and suffering from withdrawal symptoms when the bottle was empty and I couldn't immediately get hold of any more because it was too far to travel.

It just seemed like common sense to check the label to find out approximately what was in the ingredients, and then see if I could come up with something different but just as nice. I feel quite satisfied with the result, though I say it myself.

The Last Spoonful of My Purchased Chili Prawns


Collect all your equipment and ingredients together first


  1. Cutting board
  2. sharp kitchen knife
  3. large frying pan
  4. wooden spoon
  5. food blender

Please Rate This

5 stars from 3 ratings of Chilli Prawn Paste
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: One small jar - about twenty-five servings

Ingredients for Chilli Prawn Paste


Ingredients for your Chilli Prawn Paste

  • 6 oz Chillies
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon Chilli Prawn Powder or Dried Prawns
  • 1 Red Pepper, (optional)
  • ¼ Onion, (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil for frying, and additional olive oil to cover the contents in a jar
  • 2 Teaspoons Sugar, (or half sugar/half Stevia)
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice

You can vary how hot you make this Chili Paste

Some chilies are very hot indeed, and others so mild that they are almost like peppers. So just choose your chillies carefully. And, of course, the more red pepper goes in to the mixture, the milder it will be, as the hot flavor will be diluted.

More Information:

This quantity will make a small bottle of chilli prawn paste, which will last up to a month, or even more, if completely covered with olive oil.

This paste really needs to be a bit sweet as well as a bit hot, so it does need sugar. However I have suggested an alternative, using part sugar and part Stevia.

I think sugar has a better flavor, but if you are health-conscious, Stevia is OK when it's well disguised in a jar of chilli.

This is what dried prawns look like before they are cooked:

Chillies, dried prawns and garlic
Chillies, dried prawns and garlic | Source

Instructions for Making Chilli Prawn Paste

  1. Wash the chilli and pepper and cut off the stems. You can use the chilli seeds, but discard the red pepper seeds. Chop them into small pieces. Then peel and finely chop the garlic and, if you are using it, chop the onion.
  2. Fry the chilli, pepper and garlic (and onion if you are using it) in the olive oil for about five minutes, on a medium to high heat, adding the prawn powder or dried prawns, and stirring regularly to ensure uniform browning without sticking to the base of the pan.
  3. Add sugar and salt to taste, turn down the heat and continue cooking until the mixture is fairly dark in colour, adding the lemon juice just before the end.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a food blender, adding a little more olive oil to make it more liquid. Blend until the mixture turns into a slightly lumpy paste (it’s quite nice to find a tiny lump of chilli or prawn in your mouth, rather than a completely smooth paste).
  5. Empty the mixture into a small jar and cover the contents with a small amount of olive oil, which will help to preserve it.

Using red pepper and onion will bulk up the ingredients, and the pepper will make the mixture less strong, whilst the onion will add a slightly different flavour. Just experiment, experiment – that’s what I do.

Chillies, red pepper and garlic frying


Now label the bottle of Chili Prawn with the contents and date

Best stored in the fridge, but it does keep quite well in the store cupboard.

Incidentally, if your mouth is burning and your whole face tingling, don't drink water -it will just prolong the agony.

Instead, take a mouthful of yogurt, or drink some milk.

Red Chilli


What Part Does Chilli Play in Your Life? I assume you like Chilli or you wouldn't be on this page! Here's a Poll:

How often do you eat chilli?

See results

If You Don't Want to Make it,You Can Buy Ready-Made Crispy Prawn Chili on Amazon

Deli Ben Crispy Prawn Chili 240g
Deli Ben Crispy Prawn Chili 240g

I love this chilli product - sometimes I just take a teaspoonful and crunch it in my mouth, without using it as a flavoring on oriental food - it's sweet, crispy and hot, but not so hot that you can't eat it by the mouthful - if you are that way inclined, like me!

I can strongly recommend it, and have been using it for years, sometimes buying several bottles at a time to store and to give to my chilli-loving family as presents


© 2014 Diana Grant

Do leave your comments here - I love to hear from people all over the world...have you got a burning desire to eat more chilli?

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    • profile image

      Angela 15 months ago

      Never heard of chili prawn paste, but it sounds good.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 2 years ago from Canada

      Very creative sauce recipe. Definitely different which is nice to see.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      As i love chilis this is right up my alley.

    • Diana Grant profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from London

      hrymel: you can buy dried prawns from your local Asian grocery stores

    • hrymel profile image

      Haley 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I love chili. I can't wait to try this, I've never made any with dried prawns in it.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Mmm definitely one to save and vote up.

      Thank you for sharing.


    • Diana Grant profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from London

      Yes, Moon Daisy and srsddn, it's so nice that I doubt if a bottle would actually last a month - a week is more likely

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      diana-grant, It is interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 4 years ago from London

      That sounds so nice!

    • Diana Grant profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from London

      Thanks billybuc. I do sometimes improvise, so not surprising that you haven't come across this one before. Hope you enjoy it

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have never heard of this. It's so nice to find a recipe that hasn't been done to death on HubPages. Thanks for this.