Serves 4 prep and cook time 30 minutes (+ refrigeration time)
Shell and devein 1kg uncooked medium prawns, leaving tails intact. Combine prawns with one of the following flavours; cook immediately or refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes. Cook prawns on oiled, char-grill pan or barbecue for 1–2 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
Whisk 1/3 cup of Thai red curry paste with 1 cup (250ml) coconut milk until smooth and well combined. Toss the prepared prawns with 1 cup marinade. Serve cooked prawns drizzled with remaining marinade and lime wedges.
Herb and chilli
Process 2 cups of fresh mint leaves along with 1 cup each of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and coriander leaves until they are finely chopped. Add ½ cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes and 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Toss prepared prawns with 2/3 cup marinade. Serve the cooked prawns with the emaining marinade.
Process 1 teaspoon of Chinese five-spice powder with 2 fresh small red chillies, 2 cloves garlic, 3 green onions (green shallots), 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, 2 tablespoons tamarind paste, 1 teaspoon curry powder and ¼ cup coconut oil until smooth. Toss prepared prawns with marinade. Miso glazed Stir ½ cup white miso paste with ½ cup mirin, 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar. Toss the prepared prawns with 1 cup marinade. Serve the cooked prawns drizzled with remaining marinade and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Coriander and green chilli
Process 2 sprigs coriander, 2 chopped green chillies, 1 clove garlic, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1/3 cup olive oil and 1 tablespoon sugar until smooth. Toss prepared prawns with 2/3 cup marinade. Serve cooked prawns with remaining marinade.
Combine 1 teaspoon smoked paprika with 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and ½ cup orange juice. Toss prepared prawns with ½ cup marinade. Serve cooked prawns drizzled with remaining marinade and topped with ¼ cup sliced Sicilian green olives.
Selection and storage
Look for Australian prawns sold at seafood retailers or supermarkets. The key to maintaining freshness is temperature—the colder, the better. Take a small chilli bin when you buy prawns and ask the merchant to pack ice in the bag when wrapping them. When defrosting prawns, place them in an airtight container in the fridge a day before you need them.
If you need to defrost frozen prawns quickly, place them in a zip-lock bag in a bowl of cold water. Do not defrost prawns at room temperature or in the microwave. Frozen prawns can be added directly to dishes such as curries.
Extract from The Australian Women’s Weekly Basics Cookbook