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Wild prawns from the barbie, two ways

Prep time
10 mins
Cooking Time
20 mins


  • 12 MSC certified whole large tiger prawns (jumbo shrimp)
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • ½ tbsp whole white peppercorns
  • ½ tbsp whole red peppercorns
  • 1 red chilli (chile), deseeded and sliced into rings
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1cm / 1⁄8-inch piece of root
  • ginger, peeled
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 100ml / 1⁄3 cup chicken stock
  • 2 handfuls of rocket (arugula)
  • 5 chives, finely cut
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), sliced into rings
  • handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • lime wedges, to serve
When shopping for sustainable seafood, look for the MSC blue fish tick label to be sure.

The MSC blue fish tick


I love open-fire, outdoor cooking and seafood is wonderful served straight from the ‘barbie’. Australians love it. I made this dish for the fishermen when we came back from our nightly trip hunting for prawns (shrimp).

  1. Place the prawns (shrimp) in a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, plus a little salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside to marinate.
  2. Grind all of the peppercorns in a mortar using a pestle to break them up.
  3. Toast the black, white and red peppercorns in a dry frying pan (skillet) set over a high heat for about 1 minute until they start smoking.
  4. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Take the pan off the heat for a moment and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Return the toasted peppercorns to the pan with the garlic and chilli and fry for 1–2 minutes. Next, add the butter. As soon as the butter is melted, add the oyster sauce, fish sauce and mix in the ginger. Now add the sugar, mix well, and then add the chicken stock. Reduce the sauce until it becomes thick. Give the sauce a taste, season with salt if you wish, set apart and keep warm.
  6. Preheat the barbecue (grill) to a medium-high heat. Grill the marinated prawns for 2–3 minutes on each side and make sure they do not overcook.
  7. Arrange half of the rocket (arugula) on a platter and place the prawns on top. Drizzle the sauce over the top.

Serving instructions

Dress four serving plates with the chives, spring onions (scallions), coriander leaves, the rest of the rocket ready to add the prawns.

Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over.

Photo credit: David Loftus

Recipes taken from Bart’s Fish Tales by Bart van Olphen, published by Pavilion Books.