Chefs' Recipes

Cutler & Co's wood-grilled prawns with fried garlic and chilli oil

Things heat up with Andrew McConnell's wood-grilled prawns with a smoky chilli oil.

By Andrew McConnell
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking (plus cooling)
  • Serves 6
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Wood-grilled prawns with fried garlic and chilli oil
"I like to keep it simple when cooking with prawns," says Andrew McConnell of Melbourne's Cutler & Co. "The beautiful flavour from the shells when cooking over wood or charcoal should be complemented, not overpowered; this smoky chilli oil works very well as a light dressing, giving the prawns the respect they deserve."


  • 12 very large tiger prawns (100gm each), butterflied through the back
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • Fennel fronds, to serve
Chilli oil
  • 100 gm dried ancho chilli (see note), chopped
  • 2 golden shallots, halved
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable oil
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
Fried garlic
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced on a mandoline


  • 1
    For chilli oil, warm chillies, shallot and garlic in oil in a saucepan over very low heat until garlic starts to turn golden, adding paprika for the last 2 minutes of cooking (20-30 minutes). Cool to room temperature (1-2 hours), then strain through muslin.
  • 2
    For fried garlic, heat oil in a frying pan over low heat. Add garlic, stirring to separate, and fry until light golden (2-3 minutes; be careful, garlic will burn quickly). Drain and spread on paper towels to cool.
  • 3
    Preheat a barbecue to high heat. Brush prawns with olive oil and season with a pinch of sea salt. Grill prawns, shell-side down and covered loosely with foil, until just cooked through (4-8 minutes). Season to taste.
  • 4
    Divide prawns among plates, spoon 2 tsp chilli oil over each, scatter with fried garlic and fennel fronds and serve with lemon wedges.


Dried ancho chillies are available online from Wine suggestion A well executed, savoury rosé, such as the 2017 Eastern Peake Pinot Tache Pinot Noir rosé, from Ballarat. Owen Latta makes one of the best in the country. Wine suggesion by Liam O'Brien.

  • undefined: Andrew McConnell