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Barbecued King Prawns with Lemongrass Butter

Charry prawns on the barbecue… there’s not much better in my book! These sweet and succulent ones are extra vibrant thanks to lemongrass flavours and a killer nuoc cham sauce.

20 minutes
20 minutes

10 x large king prawns, shell on

1 tbsp vegetable oil


Nuoc cham dressing

3 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp white vinegar

3 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp lime juice

1 long red chilli, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped


Lemongrass butter

120g (4 oz) unsalted butter

1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, finely chopped

zest of 1 lime

2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

2 tsp sea salt flakes

  • Step 1

    Clean prawns by removing the outer shell, leaving the tail and head on. Carefully run a small knife down the spine side of the prawns and remove the intestinal tracts (or, as I like to say, poop shoots!) and discard. Gently rinse the prawns under some water, then drain on some paper towel. Place prawns into a bowl and drizzle over some oil. Leave aside

  • Step 2

    To make the nuoc cham dressing, mix together all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to serve. (To save time, you could make this the day before and keep it in the fridge until needed.)

  • Step 3

    For the lemongrass butter, add butter, lemongrass, lime zest, chopped coriander and salt to a small saucepan. Place over a low heat and until the butter has just melted (you don’t want it browning, so keep a close eye on it).

  • Step 4

    Turn a gas barbecue onto medium-high heat (if your BBQ has a lid, close it to allow the heat to settle at a nice temperature). Place prawns into the centre of the barbecue. Using a pastry brush, brush the prawns with some of the lemongrass butter and, continuing to brush, cook on one side for 4 minutes or until the prawn meat starts to curl up and become white in colour. Don’t move the prawns as you want some beautiful char marks on them. Flip prawns over and repeat until the other side is cooked.

  • Step 5

    Remove from heat and transfer onto a serving plate. Drizzle over any remaining butter. Serve with dipping sauce.

What is the difference between king prawn and shrimp?

Whilst it’s generally accepted that shrimp and king prawns are the same thing just with different names, that is actually a HUGE misconception. Shrimp and prawns, specifically king prawns are actually completely different creatures. Prawns are typically bigger than shrimp, with king prawns being the most popular variety within Australia.

Which is bigger, tiger or king prawn?

King prawns are larger than tiger prawns, and King prawns are also the most popular type of prawn to be consumed by Australians. They have a rich flavour and a semi-firm flesh, and they have blue tail ends when they are raw. King prawns aren’t the biggest prawn however, giant tiger prawns take that crown, a variety that is commonly found in Southeast Asia and can reach a whopping 33 cm.

What are king prawns called in America?

Typically, if you’re in the US you’re going to have some difficulty finding prawns, as shrimp is found and used far more often! However, you could always head to your local fishmonger and see what prawn/shrimp creature will be the best for all your seafood recipes!

Where are king prawns from?

King prawns are from Australia! So we might be a bit biased when we call King prawns our favourite – but they are really worth the hype! Promise!

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

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