Spicy Prawns for winter
  |  First Published: August 2008

There is nothing like the bite of chilli in your food. It warms you to the cockles of your heart in the cooler months and definitely gives your appetite blahs a touch up in the warmer months.

The amount of chilli that you prefer to use in this recipe is dependent on the amount of heat you like in your food. The amount given in the recipes are a suggestion only.

A handy hint is that the smaller the chilli, the more heat it packs. It is probably overkill, but I wear disposable gloves when I prepare chillies. This is a legacy of accidentally rubbing my eyes after I had chopped some chillies – not something you forget in a hurry.

If you prefer a milder flavour, a lot of the heat of the chilli is in the ribs inside, so scrape them out with a knife blade and only use the harder outer layer.

Chilli Coconut Prawns

1kg green prawns, peeled and de-veined

2 stalk lemon grass, white part only

6 spring onions (or pickling onions), peeled

3 cloves garlic, peeled

2-3 red chillies, seeded

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

4 tablespoons chopped coriander

4 tablespoons cooking oil

3 teaspoons Thai fish sauce

1 teaspoons shrimp paste (optional)

2 tins coconut cream


(1) To make the paste, you can use either a food processor or mortar and pestle. Combine the lemon grass, onions, garlic, chillies, turmeric and coriander and process (or grind) until smooth.

(2) Heat the cooking oil in a wok or large frypan and add the processed paste. Cook, stirring, for about a minute and then add one of the tins of coconut cream, Thai fish sauce and the shrimp paste (if you are using it). Cook until the coconut cream mixture is simmering.

(3) Stir in the peeled prawns and the other tin of coconut cream. Stir well and continue to cook until the prawns are pink and tender.

(4) Serve with steamed Jasmine rice.

Fried Chilli Coconut Prawns

This is a different style of Chilli Coconut Prawns using a crispy coating of Japanese style breadcrumbs and coconut.


2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon ground chilli powder

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 cup shredded coconut

500g green prawns, peeled and de-veined

Small quantity of flour, for rolling the prawns

Oil, for frying the prawns


(1) Combine the eggs and chilli powder in one shallow dish. In another shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs and coconut.

(2) Roll the prawns in the flour, then dip them into the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumb mixture. You want a nice thick generous coating of breadcrumb mixture on the prawns to coat them.

(3) Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or deep fryer until hot. Deep fry the coated prawns, in batches, until they are golden brown.

(4) Drain on some paper towel and then serve with wedges of lime.

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

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