Piri Piri Prawns

Image of raw prawns

This packs a big punch for such a quick and easy dish and is blissfully low in fat. Yes, Mrs Portly is once again trying to be Mrs A-Little-Less-Portly and these whiskery little chaps are the dieter’s friend.

If the weather is good enough to fire up the barbecue, its smoky flavours will be an added bonus, but you can just as easily cook these spicy prawn skewers on a griddle or under the grill.

It helps to have some sort of food processor to make the sauce, although you can use a pestle and mortar if you want to build up your biceps. If you don’t have fresh oregano or marjoram, try substituting thyme leaves.

Piri Piri Prawns

Image of piri piri prawn skewers, served


12 raw king prawns

6 large, fat red chillies, roughly chopped

4 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tspn fresh oregano or marjoram

1 tbsp hot smoked paprika

1 tspn sea salt flakes

50ml red wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

A punnet of cherry tomatoes

To serve: wedges of lime or lemon


Blitz the chillies, seeds and all, with the garlic, oregano, paprika, salt and oil until you have a smooth, thick sauce. Whisk in the red wine vinegar.

Image of ingredients going into the blender

You can cook the prawns shell-on or shell-off. Shell-on prawns have more prawny flavour but won’t suck up as much of the piri piri sauce. Which you plump for depends on personal taste and how much time you have available.

If you shell them try to leave the tails on and either way, de-vein them by removing the black thread of the intestinal tract.

Image of raw prawns, shelled

Put the prepared prawns in a shallow dish and massage in two or three tablespoons of the sauce, then cover and set aside in the fridge for 1-3 hours.

You won’t need all of the piri piri but the rest will keep in the fridge, covered, for a few days and is very good as a marinade for roasted chicken joints, too.

Image of prawns in piri piri marinade

If you’re using wooden skewers put them to soak in cold water so they won’t burn.

Just before you want to eat, heat a griddle pan or barbecue (or your grill) to high and brush it with oil. Thread three prawns onto each skewer, alternating them with cherry tomatoes. Grill for about two minutes per side or until they’re cooked through and golden.

Image of prawns on the griddle

Serve with the lemon or lime wedges. They’re also good with a garlicky mayonnaise and a selection of salads – you might like to try this jewelled rice salad.

11 thoughts on “Piri Piri Prawns

    • Thanks, Jane. Best done on a barbie, I think, but very good either way. We had hail here today, interspersed with sunshine. Typical English April. 🙂

  1. Oh, please don’t change shape (though I have no idea what shape you are). ‘Mrs. Wispy’s Kitchen’ doesn’t cut it, at all. Definitely going to make this dish though.

    • I can safely say that I will never be wispy. It’d just be nice to be able to put on my socks without rupturing my spleen. 😀 Glad you like the prawns, thanks. Lx

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