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Easy Prawn and Shrimp Recipes

Updated on April 10, 2014

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?

Entrée - 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.

Fennel and Cumin Prawns
Fennel and Cumin Prawns

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

  • Prep time: 30 min
  • Cook time: 10 min
  • Ready in: 40 min
  • Yields: 4-12


  • 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. 1. Peel and devein the prawns - if you are not sure how to do this watch the video above.
  2. 2. Mix the oil, garlic, lemon and cumin and fennel seeds. Pour over prepared prawns. Sit for 30 minutes.
  3. 3. Thread 4 prawns onto each skewer.
  4. 4. Cook on a hot bbq for 1-3 minutes each side until prawns change color. Sprinkle with lemon juice. and turn.
  5. 5. Serve with lemon or lime wedges.
Cast your vote for Cumin and Fennel BBQ Prawns

Buying Prawns

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

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 5 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • Yields: 8-10 as appetiser


  • 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


  1. You will need to shell and devein before you begin or used raw green prawn cutlets (with tail intact)
  2. 1. Preheat oven to 180deg C.
  3. 2. Cover an over tray with foil and spray lightly with olive oil spray
  4. 3. Beat eggs lightly and place in a bowl
  5. 4. Place seasoned flour in another bowl.
  6. 5. Mix coconut and chilli and coriander and place
  7. 5. Coat prawns in light flour, egg and then coconut mix.
  8. 6. Place one prawn on each skewer and lay on the baking tray.
  9. 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 Stein's Fruits of the Sea: Over 150 Seafood Recipes for Every Occasion
Rick Stein's Fruits of the Sea: Over 150 Seafood Recipes for Every Occasion

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.

  • Prep time: 40 min
  • Cook time: -35 min
  • Ready in: 5 min
  • Yields: 4


  • 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. 1. Combine coriander, garlic, paprika and garlic in a bowl.
  2. 2. Add the peeled and de-veined prawns and mix well herbs and spices coat the prawns evenly.
  3. 3. Sit in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes to let flavours develop.
  4. 4. BBQ or pan fry until prawns change color.
  5. 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

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 5 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • Yields: 6


  • 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. 1. Cook the rissoni according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. 2. Heat the oil in a fry pan and cook garlic, onion and capsicum and cook until soft.
  3. 3. Add the passata and simmer for 5 minutes
  4. 4. Add the prawns and cook until they have just changed colour - do not overcook
  5. 5. Remove from heat and add the rissoni and fresh herbs. Stir until combined.
  6. 6. Sprinkle with feta and serve

Need more recipe inspiration? - Here are some of my favourite food pages

Gluten Free Banana Bread
A banana bread that is good for you? Yes it is possible. I love banana bread, the cafe type that is super moist and let's face it full of calories and fat. ...

Spanish Tapas Party - 5 great recipes to try
I love cooking Spanish food and find it prefect for entertaining. Tapas works for some many occasions cause it is so versatile. If you have hard to feed frie...

Simple Summer Salad Recipes
Australians love a BBQ and along with meat and seafood treats an Aussie BBQ always features lots of salads... well they do at my house anyway! I have 3-4 fa...

Easy Prawn Recipes
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, barbecu...

Best Ever BBQ Marinade Recipes
A great marinade can take a lamb chop or piece of steak from ordinary to extraordinary. This collection of marinade recipes covers all occasions and food sty...

Easy Punch Recipes
I love making punch, I like that you don't really need a recipe. You just add a bit of this and a bit of that and all of a sudden you have an amazingly refre...

A guide to Seafood by DK Books


If you like DK fabulous eyewitness series you will love this book. Lots of step by step color illustrations to help you learn how to prepare and present seafood. Great for visual learners.


Do you love prawns? - What is your favourite way to prepare them?

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    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 4 years ago

      Positively my favorite type of seafood. Love your recipes and will try the feta and rissoni one next time I buy prawns.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Yum! I love shrimp (that's what I call them) and I can't wait go give some of these recipes a try.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Yum! I love shrimp (that's what I call them) and I can't wait go give some of these recipes a try.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I would hate to be born as a prawn, everyone in the world would want to eat me, especially after seeing these super prawn recipes. Thanks for the advice on butterflying prawns too

    • piarejuden profile image

      piarejuden 5 years ago

      Prawns are great and so veryy yummy! It takes a lot of time to clean and de-vein..i have done it several times, but fried prawns is simply worth the effort! Great lens... Love the info, will come back for the recipes when we buy prawns next! Cheers!

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      Prawns are great. I've never made them myself but I do like to eat them. You've included some great recipe ideas here. Thanks for sharing.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I have never cooked my own prawns but I sure enjoy the battered prawns at our local chinese restaurant. Delicious. Thanks so much for the home cooked prawn tips and recipe.

    • PaulaMorgan profile image

      Paula Morgan 5 years ago from Sydney Australia

      @rainbowbutterfl1: That sounds pretty good rainbowbutterfly. I might have to give it a try.

    • rainbowbutterfl1 profile image

      rainbowbutterfl1 5 years ago

      Yes, I do love prawns. It's so easy to prepare . One of Filipino ways of cooking prawn is stir fry the prawn until golden brown and pour some sprite , soysauce & done! ...Starving now :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Happy April Fools Day! This Fool is here to leave you a Special Yummy Angel Blessing!

    • BlackHeart1 profile image

      BlackHeart1 6 years ago

      You made it!! You submitted this lens for the top Food & Cooking Lens section and you made it to the top 5 ... Be sure to go check this page: on the first of the month to see what your position in the top 5 is and donât forget to tell your friends and visitors about it too

    • pacrapacma lm profile image

      pacrapacma lm 6 years ago

      I haven't used cumin on shrimp yet. It sounds good! I buy raw frozen shrimp at Costco. It is already deveined. I boil it with a clove of garlic. I always use a lot of water, so it boils fast. I use it for shrimp cocktail. My kids like it served warm with ketchup. I know. It's not gourmet, but they like it.

    • Lady Gotrocks profile image

      Lady Gotrocks 6 years ago

      Ok I am Starving now! just looked at 3 food lenses in a row! Not good for my diet! I'm never going to fit in my wedding dress!

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 6 years ago from Liverpool, England

      I like the sound of the coconut recipe. Definitely on the list to be made soon.

    • profile image

      Rachellewms 6 years ago

      Cumin and Lemon BBQ Prawns is a definite must try for me. Thanks for introducing me to something new to cook. Great Lens!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Oh my! I've never tried Chermoula Prawns but I'll rectify that at once! Lots of tasty prawn recipes here, just what I was looking for