|  First Published: November 2010

I seem to remember garlic prawns being one of the first ever recipes that I did for QFM.

Times have changed and I have tweaked the original recipe in many ways and covering many different cuisines (my version anyway) over the years. So for this month’s cooking column I am going to give you a couple of international variations on the original recipe. These recipes will include cuisines such as Thai, Indian and Greek.

I like to make these recipes as well as the original recipe in a kind of parallel garlic prawn tasting. Great fun and wonderfully delicious.

Thai Garlic Prawns

4 cloves garlic, finely grated

2 tbsp peanut oil (plus 1 tbsp for cooking)

4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

500g green prawns, peeled and de-veined

150ml water or white wine

2-3 tbsp Thai fish sauce

1 tsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)

Freshly ground black pepper


(1) Process the garlic, peanut oil and coriander to a smooth paste using either a mortar and pestle or a food processor.

(2) Heat the tablespoon of oil in a heavy-based frypan over a medium heat before adding the garlic/coriander paste to the oil. Stir fry the mixture for a minute or so, until it is fragrant. Pop the prawns into the pan and continue to stir fry until the prawns are well coated with the paste.

(3) Add the water, Thai fish sauce and sugar into the frypan and continue to stir fry until the prawns are cooked. The beautiful pink colour of the prawns will tell you that your Thai Garlic Prawns are now ready for the feast.

Indian Garlic Prawns

500g green prawns, shelled and de-veined

4 tbsp lime juice (approx. two limes)

6-8 cloves garlic, mashed to a paste

375ml natural yoghurt

2 tsp garam masala

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder or chilli flakes

6 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

1 tbsp vegetable oil


(1) Combine the lime juice and half of the garlic paste in a glass bowl (do not use a metallic bowl as it distorts the taste). Add the prawns to the bowl, and using a clean pair of hands, toss the prawns in the marinade to coat thoroughly. Allow the prawns to marinade for 1-2 hours.

(2) Using a different bowl, combine the remaining garlic paste, yoghurt, garam masala, chilli and coriander in a bowl. At the end of the marinading time, add the marinated prawns. Mix well to coat the prawns with the spicy yoghurt mixture.

(3) Heat the oil in a heavy-based frypan over a medium heat before adding the contents to the pan. Cook until the prawns are just pink and tender, stirring the contents of the pan from time to time.

(4) Serve with some steamed basmati rice or wrap your Indian garlic prawns in a warmed round of chapatti.

NB: If I am using tiger prawns I usually allow a couple of hours marinading time. If I am going to use smaller prawns then I usually cut the marinading time to an hour.

Even though there are a lot of garlic cloves in this recipe, the end result doesn’t taste overwhelmingly of garlic, just a delightfully subtle flavour.

To make the garlic into a paste, chop the garlic cloves very finely, add a little salt to the chopped garlic and then mash to a paste using the blade of a knife. The salt helps in the garlic mashing process.

Greek Garlic Prawns

500g green prawns, peeled and de-veined

3 cloves garlic, finely crushed

3 tbsp olive oil

1 sprig of fresh rosemary leaves

2 tbsp butter

125ml of white wine


(1) In a glass bowl, combine the prawns, garlic, olive oil and rosemary leaves. Stir well to combine and allow to marinate for a couple of hours.

(2) In a heavy-based frypan over a medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the prawns and the marinade to the frypan and cook until the prawns are pink. Remove the prawns from the frypan and place them to one side.

(3) Discard the rosemary sprig before pouring the white wine into the pan. Continue to cook until the liquid in the frypan is of a sauce-like consistency. Pop the prawns back into the pan and stir well to coat the prawns with the sauce. Now you are ready to serve.

The seafood in these recipes was supplied by Princess Charlotte Seafoods, phone (07) 3256 9175.

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