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Spot Prawns in Garlic Butter Sauce

It’s spot prawn season everyone and it’s time to get on board! I personally love spot prawns because when you cook them whole, they look and feel so fancy. By now you should all know that I love to make stuff that looks and feels fancy even though it is SO EASY to do and these little guys do exactly that just by being themselves. This recipe is garlicky, buttery and the prawns almost taste like lobster after being bathed in this sauce. Run, don’t walk to your closest fishmonger and get these babies while they’re still in season! You shan’t be disappointed! Shout out to Rebecca @pinbonesfishmkt for always letting me know when these are fresh in stock. If you live in Dundas (or Hamilton for that matter) and haven’t been there yet, what are you even doing.


¼ cup Olive Oil

4 cloves Garlic

Chili Flakes

¼ cup White Wine

6 tbsp Butter

12 Spot Prawns


Lemon Juice


I want to start by touching quickly on how to humanely prepare your spot prawns for cooking. Spot prawns that are fully intact with the head need to be cooked within 24 hours of receiving them. When you buy them, they should be alive. The easiest way to humanely prepare them is to line up your knife with the prawn length wise. Put the tip of your knife at the base of the head, and cut down towards the front of the head. This is the same way you should prepare lobster as well. You don’t have to do this, but you should. It just ensures that there is no suffering. After I do this, I like to give them a quick rinse before I start to cook them.

This whole recipe takes about 10 minutes to make. Super quick and easy. Let’s begin!

I like to use a wide pan if I’m making a dozen of these because they shouldn’t stack on top of each other. You could also make them in batches if this is not possible.

Let’s start with olive oil in the pan. Once it’s shimmering, add your garlic (you can mince, slice, micro plane, whatever) and cook until fragrant but NOT until you see colour on them. You’ve gone too far if they have colour. Now is when I like to add my chili flakes as well. As soon as they are fragrant, about 1-2 minutes, deglaze with your white wine.

Now it’s time to make a nice thick emulsified butter sauce. The key to this is adding COLD butter, 1 tbsp at a time until it is completely emulsified. This is important because you want one cohesive sauce. When you have 2 fats, they will tend to want to separate so you need to ensure, in small batches, that they are fully incorporated into one another. So go ahead and do that. I like to whisk it and swirl the pan to assist with the emulsification.

Once your sauce is nice and emulsified, it’s time to add your spot prawns! I like to add them all in a single layer for even cooking. Actually, you should only add them in a single layer… for even cooking.

If you have a lid for your pan, that’s wonderful, but not necessary. Cook your prawns for 2-3 minutes per side, until they are bright pink. Once they’re done, give a quick squeeze of lemon juice and add fresh chopped parsley.

Sevre hot, immediately.

This part isn’t necessary, but I’ll just tell you what I like to do. I like to remove the spot prawns from the pan and arrange them nicely on a pretty plate or platter. Then, I like to carefully pour the sauce overtop of all the prawns to make sure they are fully coated. I also enjoy serving this with a nice baguette or some sliced sourdough to ensure no sauce is wasted.

To eat the spot prawns, grab the head and the tail and twist in opposite directions. The head should come off easily and can be discarded. Then just peel the tails and enjoy!


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