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Grilled (Broiled) Prawns

A few years back, I couldn't understand why my mom (who has been cooking for the family for over 40 years) lamented how she was cooking the same old thing every day. She felt as if she had exhausted all the recipes she inherited from my grandmother or had came up by herself. And just when we were expecting her to give in to 'da bao' (take out), she would surprise us with some of her delicious dishes.:-)

Now that I have started cooking for my own little family, I finally understand what my mom was going through. There are days when I'm full of cooking ideas and there are days when my brain just draw a blank and I feel doomed to redo the same stuff over and over. This was one of those days. But here came my prince charming to the rescue once again.:-) Pierre picked up one of our Indian cook book and found this lovely dish.

Grilled (Broiled) Prawns

(taken from Indian - Shehzad Husain & Rafi Fernandez)

  • 18 large cooked prawns or shrimp
  • 1 fresh green chili (sliced)
  • 1 tomato (sliced)
  • 1 small onion (cut into rings)
  • lemon wedges


  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic pulp
  • 1½ tsp soft light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp corn oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander/cilantro (chopped)
Broiled prawns ingredientsGrilled prawns marinate
  1. Peel and rinse the prawns gently under cold water. Slit the back of each prawn to open out into a butterfly shape.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients of the marinate and mix them well together.
  3. Add the prawns to the spice mixture, making sure they are well coated and let it marinate for about 1 hour.
  4. On a flameproof dish, place the green chili, tomato slices and onion rings. Then add the prawn mixture and cook under a very hot preheated grill (broiler) for about 10 to 15 minutes, basting it frequently with a brush.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with lemon wedges.
Grilled prawns
The Verdict

I was rather skeptical at first about how this dish would turn out (we didn't have a broiler or a grill) and it didn't look exactly like the picture in the book. Boy, was I very pleasantly surprised by how good it turned out: very aromatic with just the right sourish tint and a slight biting taste lingering in your mouth after each bite. It was neither too spicy nor too sourish. All the spices blended in well with the prawns. Rice and prawns were gone by end of dinner:-D


I've substituted cooked prawns with raw ones, used my frozen green chili and sunflower oil instead of corn. I have poured the whole prawn mixture into the pan as the recipe wasn't clear if I'm supposed to place only the marinated prawns onto the pan or the whole thing including the marinated sauce. In the end, I had to scoop out some of the sauce as it was way too watery.

Don't know what to do with the extra chili or lemon grass you have in hand? Freeze them and just take out whatever quantity you need later. This was the advise from the owner of my local Asian shop.

Broiled prawns
#1, by Katie (07/29/2007)

It's amazing how much food availability can very from place to place. That lovely green chili in your photo was common and cheap in Andorra/Spain; no where to be found in France, nor can I get raw prawns.
But, those are my minor difficulties, your dish looks excellent... I wouldn't worry about boring food;-)

#2, by The Cooking Ninja (07/29/2007)

@Katie: Thanks. If you are living near Nantes, you can the green chili in the big supermarkets like Leclerc or Carrefour. I usually boxes of frozen raw prawns there too whenever they are on sale.

#3, by Anh (07/30/2007)

Delicious! this is the type of dinner I always find comfortable!:-D

#4, by Steamy Kitchen (07/30/2007)

Those raw prawns are beautiful! I love the colors and stripes. I also love that you can get them with their head-on. I can't get that here.

#5, by gulali manis (07/30/2007)

I always love shrimp, your grill prawns look so delicious, Yumm......

#6, by eastmeetswestkitchen (07/30/2007)

I am seeing heads on your prawns, and I am envious! LOL! Lovely dish!

#7, by Gourmet Traveller (07/30/2007)

This looks very good! I know what you mean about cooking the same dishes again and again. We always have prawns with garlic, chili and olive oil (Spanish style) so this new recipe is welcome. Thanks Cooking Ninja!

#8, by Judy (07/30/2007)

I will need to go to Carrefour in Calais. Over here, I have to get the frozen ones. I will give this dish a try after going to Calais....sometime this summer. Thanks.

#9, by Kelly Mahoney (07/30/2007)

Looks great, what a meal.

#10, by Patricia Scarpin (07/30/2007)

My husband loves shrimp and would love this dish, too!

#11, by lynn (07/30/2007)

I know what you mean about getting stuck in the menu rut. This dish looks like a great change of pace for me. And you just can't go wrong with prawns!

#12, by Little Corner of Mine (07/30/2007)

Oh yeah, I have those days too. I actually have a dish created from one of those days in my coming post! You got lucky, still got hubby coming to your rescue, me no such luck! Your dish turned out beautiful and yummy looking too!

#13, by Deborah (07/30/2007)

This looks incredible. Your prawns look fabulous - wish I could get (or afford) to get similar quality here! YUM!

#14, by tigerfish (07/30/2007)

Woo...those raw prawns look so unusual...the stripes are like those on a zebra? WHat kind of prawns are that?

I have the same problem too, now I end up with more repeats than new dishes...coz it's usually those repeats that are comfort food, and quick easy dishes:-D

#15, by valentinA (07/31/2007)

Hmm, my mouth's watering just by looking at the photos!

#16, by isha (07/31/2007)

should not checked yr blog when im hungry, uhh... ur grilled prawns makes my stomach rumbling

#17, by Susan (07/31/2007)

Tiger prawns are my favorite - when I can get them. Thanks very much for the tip on freezing chili peppers. Even though they last pretty well in my fridge, there are always some that go moldy. Do you seed them before freezing, and do you let them thaw before using in recipe?

#18, by The Cooking Ninja (08/01/2007)

Thanks for all your compliments.:-)

@Steamy kitchen & eatmeetswestkitchen: They do sell headless ones but I'm just not used to buying it. I prefer my prawns whole.:-D

@Judy: Those prawns on the photo are frozen ones I bought from the supermarket.

@Little corner of mine: He has to or else he might ended up eating some Chinese dish for dinner.;-)

@Deborah: It's expensive here too. But we always make a point to check out the frozen prawns section in the supermarket and buy lots of them whenever they are on sale or cheap.

@tigerfish: Tiger prawns, perhaps??? As you can see, I can't tell the different prawn species.

@Susan: I don't seed them before freezing. I just freeze them whole and thaw them before using in the recipe.

#19, by The Cooking Ninja (08/01/2007)

My sincere apology to all who made comments on my blog today. Unfortunately your comments were erased when the database hosting my site crashed.:-(

#20, by Lydia (08/02/2007)

That looks delicious -- and I'd probably use any leftovers as the base for a soup.

#21, by tyree white (08/03/2007)

your are some great cook.

#22, by Cynthia (08/03/2007)

Shrimp is so darn expensive here in Barbados so I am jealous of all the shrimp dishes you make and eat:-)

#23, by aria (08/09/2007)

those prawns are so colorful straight from the sea! its a shame i'm allergic, it looks fantastic!!!!