Time saver: prawns are so hot right now.
When we last visited Waiheke my aunt made us these delicous prawns for lunch. (Along with a bunch of other stuff, we were spoiled.) I asked her how she’d made them and I’ve been copying her ever since. I didn’t get an exact recipe, but the ingredients and method are hers (just not sure about quantities).
Raw prawns work best, but if you can’t get them/find them then you can get away with pre-cooked ones. I take the easy option and use shelled, de-veined prawn cutlets. If you want to do all the hard work yourself you can buy whole prawns. Just be sure to remove everything but the tail, and don’t forget to slice down the middles of the backs to remove the vein.
Chilli flakes don’t have the same heat as fresh chillies, but you can alter the quantity according to your tastes. Bought ones are fine, but I made my chilli flakes from home-grown chillies. Just cut chillies in half and de-seed, then dry them out either in a low oven (over an hour or two) or in a hot-water cupboard (over a week or two). Then pulverise in a blender to get appropriately sized flakes. (If you’ve got a proliferation of chillies this is a good way to use them up – it takes a lot of fresh chillies to get even a small quantity of chilli flakes.)
Feel free to alter the quantities to suit – the recipe scales well. Besides lunches you can also serve these as a tapas style appetiser.
Garlic Chilli Prawns – serves 2 (for lunch)
- 250g shelled, de-veined prawns
- 1/2 tsp or 1 clove crushed/finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- salt, to taste
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small lemon, cut into wedges
- Heat frying pan on high heat.
- Add oil, and heat briefly, then add garlic, stir and cook for a few seconds.
- Add prawns to the frying pan and sprinkle chilli flakes over, then cook, stirring frequently.
- Cook for around 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat. (Raw prawns will change colour, with the tails going red. Cooked prawns will already be red – in that case you just need to heat them through, but they’ll probably still take 2 minutes or so to do that.)
- Season with salt, then serve with lemon wedges and bread.