Barbecue Prawns Marinated in Chilli & Soy


500g raw tiger prawns, peeled but tails intact
250g cherry vine tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large green sweet pepper, de-seeded and cut into 3-cm chunks
2 red jalapeños, de-seeded and cut into 1-cm pieces
Watercress and toasted pita bread, to serve
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
Grated zest and freshly squeezed
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
Fresh aïoli
2 large egg yolks
4 very fresh garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
150 ml good-quality light olive oil
Freshly squeezed juice of 1⁄2 lemon
Medium sealable plastic food bag
8 wooden skewers, soaked in water overnight
Gas or charcoal barbecue

To make the marinade, mix together all the ingredients and blend to a smooth purée using a hand blender.
Put the prawns in the sealable food bag and pour in the marinade. Seal securely. Shake vigorously and when all the prawns look well coated, refrigerate, still in the bag, for about two hours.

Put the tomatoes and half the olive oil in a small saucepan and gently warm for 5 minutes, or just long enough for the tomatoes to start to soften. Remove from the heat and let cool.

To make the fresh aioli, beat the egg yolks in a large bowl with a balloon whisk. Add the garlic and mustard and beat through. While beating the mixture, slowly add the olive oil in a thin, steady stream. When all the oil has been added, the aïoli should have a smooth, velvety appearance. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and gently stir through. Refrigerate until needed.

Light your barbecue. Always do this in plenty of time to have built up a good bed of hot ashes or charcoal that have burnt down to a white glow with no visible flames. This normally takes about 45 minutes from lighting.

Take the refrigerated prawns out of the bag and place on a plate, reserving any remaining marinade.
Thread the marinated prawns, tomatoes, sweet pepper and jalapeños onto the skewers in a repeating sequence and continue until all 8 skewers are filled. Make sure you allow for enough of each ingredient on each skewer, and leave enough space at the ends of the skewers to handle when on the barbecue.

In a small bowl, loosen the reserved marinade with 1–2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil. Using a pastry brush, liberally coat the skewers with the marinade just before placing on the barbecue.

Cook for a couple of minutes on each side until the prawns turn pink and are cooked through. Serve with watercress, toasted pita bread and a good dollop of fresh aioli.


As featured in The Red Hot Chilli Cookbook by Dan May. Published courtesy of Ryland, Peters & Small

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