Smoky-Spicy Prawns

Today’s recipe is for a quick dish of delicious prawns covered in a smoky and rich spicy sauce. This makes a perfect option for an appetizer for a party dish. Or you can enjoy it over some rice for a more substantial meal. A truly versatile dish for which you can also adjust the spice level to your own taste by adding more or less bird eye chilis (the small and fiery ones) or by removing the seeds of the big chilis.

Preparation Time: 5 min | Cooking Time: 15min | Serves: 2 | Spice level: 🌶🌶


What you’ll need:

  • About 200-250g raw prawns
  • 2 big red chilis (they’re usually mild), whole
  • 1 bird eye chili (sometimes called Thai chili or chili de arbol)
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled
  • Half a red onion
  • 1 ripe tomato, sliced in half
  • 5 garlic cloves, whole
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Chipotle chili flakes
  • Good pinch of salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp olive oil (plus more for sautéeing)



  • Start by warming a non-stick frying pan with very little oil. Place the big chilis, the ginger, the tomato, the garlic and the onion in the pan and let it grill for a few minutes. You want a nice burn in the vegetables, so turn them around a few times to ensure they’re all well cooked.
  • While they grill, put your prawns in a bowl and add the smoked paprika, Chipotle flakes, a good pinch of salt, some black pepper and some olive oil to them. Mix everything together to combine and let it rest for a bit.
  • Once your vegetables are nice and grilled, put them in a food processor, along with the vinegar, a dash of oil, the brown sugar, the bird eye chilis and a pinch of salt. Blitz until you have a really smooth sauce. If you don’t want too much spice, you can open the big chilis and remove the seeds before adding them to the food processor (similarly, for less heat, don’t add the bird eye chilis).
  • Now add a little oil to the frying pan and sautée the prawns for 1-2 minutes. They will cook very quickly, so ensure they don’t overcook or they will get rubbery. Just before they are completely done, tip in the sauce and let it cook for a couple of minutes in low heat, stirring everything together.
  • Enjoy with some crusty bread or over some white rice!


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