Easy Prawn and Shrimp Recipes
Everything you need to know to buy, cook and enjoy these yummy crustaceans
Prawns are the perfect entertaining food. They look great and are surprisingly easy to prepare. High in protein and omega 3 fats if they are grilled, barbecued or stir fried they are a great healthy food choice.
The most important factor when using prawns is to choose the freshest ones you can and store them correctly to maintain that freshness. When you are buying them make sure you choose ones that have a fresh sea aroma. They should be firm and have no black around the head as this shows they are slightly older than they should be. They should feel moist but not soggy and have shells intact. Ideally ask your fishmonger if you can taste one before you buy them. I have never had anyone refuse when I ask.
So on to the recipes. I have included a mix of BBQ, oven cooked and fresh recipes below. All very easy to prepare and I am sure your family and friends will love them .
How many prawns per person?
EntrÃ©e - 4-6 pieces is usually suitable for an appetizer
Main course - 8-12 pieces per person
As a general rule allow approx. 300 - 400 grams per person
How to shell and devein shrimp
Once you get the hang of doing this it's very very easy.
This is a light and healthy recipe that is great for anyone watching their weight. You could also make this recipe on cocktail skewers to serve as an Hors duvre
- large green prawns 32 prawns (1.5kg)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves crushed garlic
- 2 tsp grated lemon rind
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds lightly crushed
- 1 tsp cumin seeds lightly crushed
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 8 Skewers
- 1. Peel and devein the prawns - if you are not sure how to do this watch the video above.
- 2. Mix the oil, garlic, lemon and cumin and fennel seeds. Pour over prepared prawns. Sit for 30 minutes.
- 3. Thread 4 prawns onto each skewer.
- 4. Cook on a hot bbq for 1-3 minutes each side until prawns change color. Sprinkle with lemon juice. and turn.
- 5. Serve with lemon or lime wedges.
Which prawns and how many in a kilo or 2 pound
Which ones to buy?
Whole Raw - Great for splitting and BBQ
Whole cooked - Best for seafood platters
Peeled Raw - Best to use of skewers or with a coating or sauce
Peeled Cooked - good for salads or rice and stir fry dishes
School - Best for fried rice or salads
How many per kilo (2 pounds)?
School (Shrimp): about 40 to the kg or 2 pound.
Tiger / Banana: medium sized prawns will give you about 30 to the kg
King: These large prawns usually provide 10-15 kg a kilo
Oven-baked Coconut Prawns - Super easy and super tasty
This is a great recipe for parties. You can prepare the prawns before hand and have them sitting in the fridge until just before your guests arrive. Then pop them in the oven just before you want to serve them. Serve with a light sweet chilli or Vietnamese dipping sauce
- 24 uncooked medium sized Prawns (about a 1kg)
- 24 short bamboo skewers
- 1 1/2 cup shredded coconut (not desiccated- it's too sweet)
- 1/4 cup seasoned plain flour
- 2 tblspn finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
- 1 finely chopped small red chilli
- 2 lightly beaten egg
- You will need to shell and devein before you begin or used raw green prawn cutlets (with tail intact)
- 1. Preheat oven to 180deg C.
- 2. Cover an over tray with foil and spray lightly with olive oil spray
- 3. Beat eggs lightly and place in a bowl
- 4. Place seasoned flour in another bowl.
- 5. Mix coconut and chilli and coriander and place
- 5. Coat prawns in light flour, egg and then coconut mix.
- 6. Place one prawn on each skewer and lay on the baking tray.
- 7. Cook for 15 minutes in hot oven until color changes. Watch them as the coconut can burn if you oven is too hot.
How to butterfly a prawn
Butterfly your prawns before you bbq them is a good way to help the prawns absorb more marinade and to let you see when they are cooked through.
Recipes from the seafood king
Rick's seafood recipes are among my favorite. They are easy to follow and the instructions and advice in this book has made me much more comfortable cooking seafood generally.
Helpful tools for preparing your shellfish
These tools are great if you are bit squeamish and find the de-veining process uncomfortable by hand.
Storing and Keeping Prawns
Prawns will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days but where ever possible buy and cook them on the same day.
Try to get them home and refrigerated as soon as you can. Take them from the wrapping and place in a bowl of ice.
If you have to keep them for more than 24 hours it is a good idea to place them in salt water ( 1 tablespoon salt to a litre of water) and ice.
NEVER ever refreeze shellfish.
Chermoula Prawns - Add some North African Flavour
A great finger food for BBQs or serve with steamed couscous or rice. Tzatziki also makes a nice accompaniment. You can play around with the chilli in this recipe depending on your taste.
- 600 g green prawns (tails on)
- 4 teaspoons of Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 -2 tsp of dried chilli
- lemon wedges
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1. Combine coriander, garlic, paprika and garlic in a bowl.
- 2. Add the peeled and de-veined prawns and mix well herbs and spices coat the prawns evenly.
- 3. Sit in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes to let flavours develop.
- 4. BBQ or pan fry until prawns change color.
- 5. Serve with lemon and Tzatziki
Great kitchen tools for working with fresh herbs and spices
Prawns with Feta and Rissoni
A light dinner or serve it as a side dish as your next BBQ
- 1 kg raw medium or large prawns
- 1 x 375g packet of rissoni
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper) chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic - crushed
- 1 800 g jar of passata (or canned diced tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup fresh continental parsley
- 120 gms crumbled Greek feta
- 1. Cook the rissoni according to the instructions on the packet.
- 2. Heat the oil in a fry pan and cook garlic, onion and capsicum and cook until soft.
- 3. Add the passata and simmer for 5 minutes
- 4. Add the prawns and cook until they have just changed colour - do not overcook
- 5. Remove from heat and add the rissoni and fresh herbs. Stir until combined.
- 6. Sprinkle with feta and serve
Need more recipe inspiration? - Here are some of my favourite food pages
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More recipes to try out
- Learn more about Australian Prawns from the Sydney Fish Market website
Recipes, general facts and storage information.
- Chili Garlic Prawns
Quick easy classic recipe
- Weight Watchers Australia BBQ Prawn recipe
Includes instructions on how to best present skewered prawns.
- Gordon Ramsey's Seared Tiger Prawns with garlic, chilli and lemongrass
A great Vietnamese style recipe
- Neil Perry's Vietnamese Style Prawn Coleslaw
Great Summer entertaining recipe.