It was a beautiful weekend to grill and shoot some food. I came across this recipe for grilled head-on prawns in one of my Bon Appétit magazines. It’s incredibly easy to make and oh-so-delicious. And, don’t worry… if head on prawns aren’t your thing, you can use regular shrimp as well. I took my camera outside for this shoot since it was pleasantly warm and the sky was overcast creating a really balanced and soft light.
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Grilled Head On Prawns
So, why head-on prawns? I know the idea of leaving the head on can freak people out sometimes, but the main reason to get head-on prawns is because it’s delicious. The flavors are much more complex because you have the meat and fat from the head cooking with the rest of the body. And, as we all know, fat always makes things taste better.
HOW TO DEVEIN HEAD-ON PRAWNS
I had never deveined head-on prawns before, but it was very similar to deveining regular shrimp. Here’s how I did it:
1. Use kitchen sheers to cut the back of the shell open, exposing the vein.
2. Run the shrimp under cold water and gently use your shrimp deveiner tool to remove the vein. You can also use your fingers or a fork to do this, but I find the deveiner tool to be more precise and much easier to use.
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GRILLING THE PRAWNS
Mike and I love to grill, but if I’m being honest here, he’s the one who actually DOES the grilling. I enjoy the sounds and smells and am happy to just do the eating afterwards. However, grilling is pretty easy and just requires some practice to learn how the heat distributes over the grill grates and how long to cook things. The grilled head-on prawns for this recipe were ready in about 5 minutes.
If you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can also make this recipe inside. We use this indoor grilling pan when we can’t grill outside. Mike bought a new diamond shaped grill grate for his grill, so it was fun for him to test it out with this tasty recipe.
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Like I mentioned earlier, if head-on prawns aren’t your thing, you can use regular shrimp as well. This sauce won’t discriminate and will taste just as good with regular shrimp. I love the simple combination of olive oil, minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and parsley. It tastes great with the shrimp and the hint of red pepper flakes adds a nice little kick to the overall flavor. This is definitely one of my favorite grilling recipes!
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GRILLED HEAD ON PRAWNS WITH GARLIC AND PARSLEY
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for grill
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 12 head-on, tail-on prawns or jumbo shrimp
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Lemon wedges (for serving)
- Prepare grill for medium-high heat and oil grate.
- Combine garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and 4 tablespoons of oil in a medium bowl.
- Working one at a time, use kitchen shears to cut along the back of each prawn just deep enough into flesh to expose vein; remove vein and rinse under cold water.
- Toss prawns with olive oil in another medium bowl.
- Season with kosher salt and pepper.
- Grill prawns, turning occasionally, until shells are bright red and meat is cooked through (it will look slightly opaque), about 5 minutes.
- Transfer prawns or shrimp to bowl adding garlic-parsley mixture and toss to coat.
- Season with kosher salt and pepper.
- Serve with lemon wedges.
All images © Regan Baroni 2015.