Fiery Prawns

30 January 2009

We bought prawns – huge ones, like an inch in diameter and four or five inches long huge – and I was wondering what to do with them. So, I put out a request for prawn recipes and a friend, Ellen Lief, responded with this:

Layer of prawns in a baking dish. Cover them with a layer of slices of butter, till you can’t see the prawns. Cover that with a layer of fresh ground black pepper till you can’t see the butter. Cover that with a layer of ground red pepper (cayenne) till you can’t see the black pepper. Bake till the butter is melted. Eat with your fingers right out of the dish. Outside. Helps to have someone standing by making gin & tonics or mojitos.

Which, naturally enough for me, grabbed my eye. Immediately. And my next thought was, huh, probably even better with fresh lime juice squeezed on top.

Ellen didn’t give me a name for this, so I elected to call ’em Fiery Prawns since it’ll probably light a fire in a lot of people’s mouths. 😀

Fiery Prawns

  • 500 grams prawns, cleaned
  • 1/4 cup butter or ghee
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Lay cleaned prawns down in a layer in a baking dish. Cover with butter or ghee, then a layer of black pepper powder, then a layer of red chilli pepper powder, and finally, sprinkle the salt on top. Bake until butter is melted and prawns are cooked, about 5-10 minutes at 350F.

We didn’t have butter, but we did have ghee, so instead, I drizzled some ghee over every prawn. I also timed it since, honestly, that’s more reliable for me than waiting for butter that I don’t have to melt. 🙂 I’m also guessing at the temperature since a. my oven is a bit broken and b. it has gas marks only and I don’t have a conversion guide. Yes, everything I’ve been baking since I moved here has been done blind of actual temperatures. 😀

As well, I actually used one tablespoon black pepper, but Sona (a friend who came for a visit and stayed for dinner) and I both thought it had too much pepper and guessed that half that would be perfect, but Fahim thought it was perfect.

The prawns at lunch were cooked perfectly, but by dinner time, were overdone. I’d baked the prawns in a glass baking dish and left them in it after serving them at lunch. The glass baking dish was still hot and continued putting heat out after being removed from the oven, so let this be a lesson. Mostly to me, but maybe to some of you as well. 🙂 After baking, remove from a dish that still puts out heat. 🙂

And the usual caveat – if you’re a normal human ;), try it first with a half teaspoon of black pepper powder and a teaspoon of red chilli pepper powder, or perhaps half that.

I followed Ellen’s instructions, quite intent on the whole layer thing, and honestly, I thought I’d probably gone overboard. Fahim’s reaction, however, quickly changed my mind. He loved ’em! Okay, he didn’t say he loved ’em, but he never gives high praise. Usually, “it’s okay” or “it’s good”. Anyway, this time he said something like “I like!” And enthusiastically, too!

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About LMAshton

Howdy and welcome to my site! I'm Laurie and I'll be your, er, hostess today. :)

I'm a Canadian expat currently living in Singapore. I'm married to a Sri Lankan and lived in Sri Lanka for nearly a decade. We also lived in New Zealand for half a year.

I cook Sri Lankan curries, sambols, and mallungs. I bake bread using wild yeast (sourdough that isn't sour). I bake on the stove. I experiment with Indian / Malaysian / Indonesian / Thai / whatever cuisines interest me. And I experiment wildly.

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