Today I have probably the stupidly easiest marinade recipe for barbecue prawns/ shrimp that you've ever seen. You need the biggest, raw, shell on prawns you can find (the fishmongers are a good shout, otherwise, why not try my Herby Lemon & Garlic Barbecue Prawn Skewers instead?), a few limes, a dash of oil, and a good Cajun spice blend. They take minutes to prepare and cook, and only half an hour to marinate.
I think raw, marinated prawns are a great entry level barbecue item. They're translucent and grey when they are raw, and you watch them turn a brilliant pink as they cook. The moment they are completely pink, you know they are cooked. Easy, right? And when your prawns are shell on, any charring just adds to the flavour.
The marinade is easily scaled up or down depending on how many prawns there are and how many people you are looking to feed. The measurements below are for those really large prawns you get at the fishmonger, assuming everyone will have four each, serving 4 people. However, the basic formula is 1 tbsp of oil and 2 tbsp of Cajun spice mix to every lime. Speaking of the spice mix, while I usually prefer Schwartz's Perfect Shake Cajun Seasoning Jar in my chilli, I've found that Absolute Spice's Cajun Spice really works the best to flavour the meaty prawns.
- 16 Raw, Shell On Giant Prawns (Shrimp)
- Juice of 2 Limes
- 2 tbsp Light Olive or Rapeseed Oil
- 4 tbsp Cajun Spice Mix
Blend together the lime juice, oil and spice blend and toss the prawns in the marinate until they are well coated. Stash in the fridge while the barbecue is being lit and brought up to temperature for cooking. Thread the tops and the bottoms of the prawns onto wooden skewers. I tend to put 3-4 prawns on each skewer, and soak the skewers ahead in some cold water to prevent them catching fire while cooking. Barbecue the prawns for a few minutes on each side until perfectly pink, and serve straight away with a finger bowl of warm water and lime and a dish to discard the prawn shells for each person.
At the moment I have been choosing what meat in marinate I want to cook next for the barbecue, and then just piling on whatever barbecue friendly sides I happen to already have the ingredients for. To pair with these prawns (anything goes, really): Purple Cabbage Slaw with Dill and Cucumber, A Simple Potato Salad, The Only Tomato Salad Recipe You'll Ever Need and Watermelon and Mozzarella with Mint and Pine Nuts.