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Pink Picante Prawns

by . Featured in FEAST
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Introduction

You can find raw prawns ready shelled in the freezer compartment at the supermarket these days, so even though this is an extravagance to buy, it isn't difficult to cook. Think of this as the trade-off.

I have a real thing about pink peppercorns these days, proving that although you can take the girl out of the Eighties you can't take the Eighties out of the girl. I used to despise this sort of thing as naff restaurantishness: now that I've mellowed, I can't see what the problem is. These look beautiful and taste luscious. And if you can't bring yourself to use pink peppercorns, or can't find them, simply use white ones.

You can find raw prawns ready shelled in the freezer compartment at the supermarket these days, so even though this is an extravagance to buy, it isn't difficult to cook. Think of this as the trade-off.

I have a real thing about pink peppercorns these days, proving that although you can take the girl out of the Eighties you can't take the Eighties out of the girl. I used to despise this sort of thing as naff restaurantishness: now that I've mellowed, I can't see what the problem is. These look beautiful and taste luscious. And if you can't bring yourself to use pink peppercorns, or can't find them, simply use white ones.

Pink Picante Prawns
Photo by James Merrell

Ingredients

Serves: 8 as a starter

Metric Cups
  • 1 tablespoon pink peppercorns (plus more to crush to decorate)
  • 1 tablespoon maldon salt (or ½ tablespoon table salt)
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom seeds (or seeds from about 8 pods)
  • 1 teaspoon picante pimenton (hot smoked paprika)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 750 grams peeled raw prawns
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon pink peppercorns (plus more to crush to decorate)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt flakes (or ½ tablespoon table salt)
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom seeds (or seeds from about 8 pods)
  • 1 teaspoon picante pimenton (hot smoked paprika)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1½ pounds shell-off raw shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying or as needed

Method

  1. Crush the peppercorns, salt, cardamom seeds and picante pimenton in a pestle and mortar until you have an aromatic nubbly mixture, or you could grind the spices in a pepper or coffee mill. Turn out onto a large shallow bowl.
  2. Hand-whisk the egg whites until they are foamy, but not stiff. Dip the prawns into the egg white, and then toss them in the crushed spice mixture turning them so they are well coated.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan and stir-fry the spice-coated prawns for 5-7 minutes or until they are cooked through. Remove to a serving dish and sprinkle with some more crushed pink peppercorns before taking them to the table.
  4. You need provide no more than some good crusty French bread alongside: those baguettes must have been bought today, though.
  1. Crush the peppercorns, salt, cardamom seeds and picante pimenton in a pestle and mortar until you have an aromatic nubbly mixture, or you could grind the spices in a pepper or coffee mill. Turn out onto a large shallow bowl.
  2. Hand-whisk the egg whites until they are foamy, but not stiff. Dip the prawns into the egg white, and then toss them in the crushed spice mixture turning them so they are well coated.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan and stir-fry the spice-coated prawns for 5-7 minutes or until they are cooked through. Remove to a serving dish and sprinkle with some more crushed pink peppercorns before taking them to the table.
  4. You need provide no more than some good crusty French bread alongside: those baguettes must have been bought today, though.

Tell us what you think

What 2 Others have said

  • Thanks, I like it! This recipe is good for a dinner with rice, no? because alone is so poor, or isn't it?. Sorry but my english is so bad!

    Posted by tesita83 on 6th February 2013
  • With all this culture flavor about sauces and condiments, I feel the hankering to think about how this nifty prawn dish could harmonize with a little dipping sauce on the side (perhaps Ranch sauce, sour cream, or mint chutney). This seems zesty and colored, perfect for a walker like me.

    Posted by Abishai on 6th May 2014
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