Grilled Prawns with Prawn Head & Chili Sauce

 Grilled Prawns with Prawn Head & Chili Sauce

I had never cooked prawns before creating this recipe, however when I outlined everything what stuck out to me was how rich and saucy tI was going to make the sauce. I thought of several ways in my head on how to make it so delicious that Gary will refuse to share and Matt will love it so much that he will tap his spoon against the table. I even imagined Nigella saying how delightful it was and how she would travel far just for that. For those of you who don't know these people, Nigella is a food goddess whom I adore and Matt and Gary are both Judges on my favorite show; Masterchef Australia. In the end, I followed the exact recipe I outlined in my small book I take everywhere and it turned out so well that I literally didn't change a single thing. For a lot of recipe developers this is extremely rare so I really celebrate when I get it right the first try.


*prawns are marinated overnight for full flavor development. You can go ahead and marinate it for at least 2+ hrs if there is no time.

grilled prawns, green chili sauce & prawn head sauce

grilled prawns, green chili sauce & prawn head sauce

*all the herbs used in this recipe are dried


For the grilled prawns

564g Jumbo Prawns, about 5 pieces

1/4 tsp parsley

1/4 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp fennel

1/8 tsp fenugreek

1/8 coriander seeds

3 large garlic cloves

1/2 tbs ginger paste

4 dried chili diced

1 small jalapeño diced

1/4 C olive oil


For the Wine & Butter Sauce

Head & Tail of prawns

1 small onion roughly chopped

2 large garlic cloves diced

3 dried chili diced

1/2 tsp fennel

1 star anise

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs butter


1 tbs oyster sauce

2C water

Green Chili Sauce

10 green petite belle peppers

1 small onion

2 tbs vegetable oil



For the grilled prawns

Peel and devein prawns and save the head and tails. Wash prawns under running water and pat dry with kitchen towel. Blend the fenugreek and coriander seeds. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients required for the grilled prawns to form a marinade. Taste and adjust salt. Allow to marinate for a day otherwise 2+ hrs is acceptable.

Grill prawns on a hot grill for 10 mins or until prawn turns orange. Flip halfway during the cook. Make sure the grill is sizzling hot else the prawns won't caramelize properly. It should sizzle when you put the prawns on it.

Prawn Head Sauce

Put a pan over medium high heat. Add oil and allow to heat up (it has to be very hot). Add the prawn head, tail, dried chili, onions and fennel and fry until onions turn translucent then add the diced garlic and star anise. Fry until garlic becomes fragrant then deglaze the bottom of pan with wine. Stir and simmer for 3 mins. Pour all the components into a smaller saucepan and add 2C of water and the oyster sauce. Stir and allow to cook over medium low heat for 20 mins. Gently crush the bead with your ladle until it opens up, there's a lot of flavor in the head.

Strain the sauce bake into a pan and allow to simmer gently. Add the butter and stir and allow the sauce to reduce until you're left with about 1/3 of a cup then add salt. (I salt at the end because the sauce reduces and I don't want a salty sauce).

Green Chili Sauce

Blend the pepper, onion and salt with small amount of water until semi smooth. Meanwhile heat the oil over medium heat and add the blended ingredients. Fry for 5 mins then taste and adjust salt.

How to serve it

The prawn head sauce is sweet and thick, the green sauce cuts through all that richness. To serve, first add the prawns, then the rich sauce and finally the green sauce. Add as much green sauce as you want. Too much of the green sauce and all you'll taste is heat. Serve with my turmeric rice or even my Fried Rice. You could even pair it with my Quinoa

grilled prawns, green chili sauce & prawn head sauce

grilled prawns, green chili sauce & prawn head sauce