Fast Recipes

Vietnamese-style grilled prawns

The perfect grilled prawn lies in the dressing – and this one's a winner.

By Tony Tan
  • 10 mins cooking
  • 20 mins marinating
  • Serves 4
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I grill the prawns with their shell on to get that distinctive scent and flavour, but peel them if you prefer. Remember, different brands of fish sauce vary in saltiness, so adjust according to your taste.

Ingredients

  • 12 large green prawns (about 750gm) heads removed and deveined, shells and tails intact
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 red shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (or to taste)
  • Vietnamese mint leaves, to serve
  • Lemon or lime wedges, to serve
Chilli dressing
  • 2 tbsp light palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1-2 long red chillies (or to taste), finely chopped

Method

  • 1
    With a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, butterfly prawns by cutting lengthways along the back. Lightly brush a baking tray with oil and spread prawns on tray. Scatter with shallot, drizzle with fish sauce and leave for 20 minutes to marinate.
  • 2
    For dressing, dissolve palm sugar in 40ml water in a small bowl, then whisk in fish sauce, garlic and chilli.
  • 3
    Preheat oven grill to high. Cook prawns, shell-side up, until shells turn red (1-2 minutes), then turn and cook until flesh is opaque (1-2 minutes; take care not to overcook). Transfer to a serving dish and toss with mint and dressing. Serve with lemon or lime wedges.