Chili Garlic and White Wine Prawns

On Saturday I got it into my mind that I wanted to make seafood. In fact I really wanted to make moules mariniere – There is something really satisfying about having a large bowl of steaming mussels which you can eat using your fingers and mopping up that lovely garlicy white wine sauce with some crusty bread! However, upon arriving at the supermarket and realising that they did not actually sell mussels my fantasy was quickly thwarted.

Not really knowing what to do – but still determined to make something similar I grabbed the next best things – fresh prawns! If I’m going to be completely honest, I very rarely cook with fresh prawns – as I’m always slightly scared of over cooking them and I just generally had the impression that they were quite fiddely – how wrong I was! 

I had seen something recently on one of Nigella Lawson’s shows where she cooked garlic chilli prawns, but I couldn’t find the recipe on her webpage – so I pretty much made it by memory (which generally isn’t very good). The prawns were not only very easy to make but they also turned out to be fantastic, and  as an added bonus you can use the left over prawns and make a really good prawn pasta dish for lunch the following day. I just love it when recipes come together like this!

Now as I just mentioned, I wasn’t following a recipe so the measurements I have written down are what I used, but these can easily be changed and altered depending on your taste!

What you need:

  • 1kg of unpeeled prawns
  • 5 spring onions – thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic – diced
  • ½ red chilli –  de seeded and finely slicked
  • 1 large handful of parsley – finely chopped
  • 2 glasses of white wine

1. Rinse the prawns thoroughly and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt.

2. Pour a generous amount of olive oil in the pan and then add the spring onions, garlic and chile. Continuously stir your mixture while the oil is heating up, but make sure that you do not burn the garlic. Your kitchen is going to smell fantastic!

3. When the spring onions are nice and soft and the pan is quite hot, toss in your prawns and stir continuously so that they all get a coat of oil. Pour in the wine, throw in the parsley and then put the lid on. Stir occasionally during the next 4-6 mins – or just shake the pan vigorously! (look below for prawn cooking times)

4. When the prawns are pink and cooked through properly, serve immediately (I served it straight from the pan) with some crusty bread so that you can mop up all the juices – and there you have a very quick and satisfying dinner!

P.S Save the prawn shells. These can be used to make  a really good stock or bisque which I used it for – and the flavours were amazing! Shels can be frozen for up to 6 months, so it is well worth doing!

Garlic Chile Prawn Pasta


If you also want to make a pasta dish out of the left over prawns, or you made the prawns specifically to make the pasta dish here is how I did it:

1.Put on a pot of salted water to boil your pasta. While you are waiting for the water to boil and the pasta to cook, peel the left over prawns and put them together with the juice into a cold frying pan.

2. Once the pasta is cooked, using tongs or a pasta spoon scoop the pasta immediately out of the pot and into pan with the prawns. Do not drain or rinse the pasta,  the water is where all the starch and flavour from the pasta is, so a bit of excess water will only add that extra texture and flavour to your dish.

3. Turn on the heat to medium and just stir the pasta and the prawns together, untill the prawns are warmed through. Add some extra parsley a bit of black pepper and serve immediately!

I hope you guys enjoy this dish as much as I did!

Note: Prawn Cooking Time

The length of time to cook the prawn will vary on the size of your prawn – what you do NOT want to do is over cook them as then they just become hard and rubbery, better to under cook them and throw them back over the heat for an extra minute or so if they need to be. According to Help With Cooking ( their guide is as follows:

  • Small – medium sized shrimp will take 3 – 4 minutes (I thought mine were medium, but they took more like 6 mins)
  • Large shrimp will take 5 – 8 minutes
  • Jumbo shrimp or prawn will need 7 – 8 minutes.

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