Grilled prawn sandwich with a DELICIOUS vanilla & lime aioli. Sounds a little different but this combo was epic. The prawns got a good rub in some spices, skewered up and grilled on the BBQ. Homemade lime & SloFoodGrp Madagascar vanilla aioli, tomatoes & pea shoots all lovingly placed inside a brioche bun. The question isn't are you interested, it's more how many can you eat...........
MARINATING THE PRAWNS
Grilled prawns without rubbing them in any spices...............what's this you say? With this dish, we have a beautiful delicate vanilla lime aioli so we want to impart a little punch to the dish. I like to keep it simple so that the beautiful sweet prawn flavours still shine through so I have added smoked paprika, salt, pepper, oil & a little lime juice too. Citrus & prawns are a match made in heaven so ALWAYS add some to whatever marinade you use with them.
Once marinated you need to skewer the bad boys up. I like to use metal skewers as they are reusable. If you are using wooden ones remember to soak them in water for at least 20 minutes so that the skewers don't just burn. Skewer the prawns gently at the top/tail so they are secure and don't pack them too tight. You want them to have a little room to breath so that they can get a nice char too. Pack them too close together and they will take too long to long to get a nice char that you will be left with rubbery prawns!
WHAT KINDA PRAWNS SHOULD I USE?
Good Q (if I do say so myself!). For this grilled prawn sandwich recipe, I use shelled prawns with the tail and vein removed. Most grocery stores will have de-shelled prawns. Try to use a decent-sized prawn as if they are too small they will be impossible to skewer and you also want to have that juicy bite.
Here in Australia, you find king, tiger, banana & school prawns. Stick to the king and/or tiger prawns as they are the size that you want. ALSO - it seems obvious but I have to say it. USE RAW PRAWNS for the recipe 😉
CAN I FRY THE PRAWNS?
You sure could fry the prawns if you don't have a BBQ or if it's just too damn cold to get outside to the BBQ. Personally, I would use a grill pan inside the house but a frying pan works too. The reason why I like to BBQ or grill them is the extra char you get on them adds a whole extra dimension of flavour.
CAN I USE A DIFFERENT BUN?
I have used a brioche bun as, to be honest, it's my favourite type of bun, soft, delicate and a little sweet. Of course, you can use any type of bun that suits - hamburger bun, hot dog roll or even a crusty roll if that's what you prefer. Personally, I would steer clear of a crusty bun as you want the delicate prawn meat to shine but that is TOTALLY personal.
HOW TO MAKE AIOLI
It's surprisingly easy - says the guy who wrote the recipe! You literally need to mix egg yolks, citrus, garlic & mustard together. Once combined you slowly add your oil whilst whisking like a mofo to thicken it. I used olive oil in this recipe but you can also use canola oil or a combination of olive & canola.
Other recipes I have made (including this gochujang aioli) can be a little thicker due to the ingredients so you can thin them out with a splash of water if necessary. If your aioli is a little too thin after whisking it then crack another egg yolk into a clean bowl and gradually whisk the thin aioli mixture into the egg yolk and it should thicken up.
VANILLA AIOLI - I THOUGHT VANILLA WAS ONLY USED IN BAKING
To be honest, when I started cooking I was under this impression myself. All I used was cheap vanilla extract (that mum had in the cupboard) to make some cupcakes - good times!!! Nowadays, thanks to my friends over at SloFoodGrp I have access to some of the best Madagascar vanilla beans in the world. Good quality vanilla beans have that almost bourbon-like smell and taste to them - SO GOOD!!!
So the answer to the original question is nope, vanilla isn't only just used in baking. Vanilla is great in a stew, for sauces like beurre blanc, aioli and/or mayonnaise. It works great with pork, try it in a Tarte Tatin with thyme & caramelised onions too. Honestly, there are TONS of ways it can be used in savoury cooking so experiment!
ALTERNATIVE PRAWN RECIPES
Excited by my delicious grilled prawn sandwich recipe and want to know what to do with the kilos of prawns you have just purchased? Check out these recipes for some further inspo!
I hope I have inspired you and don't forget to tag me in your creations and follow me on Instagram.
- 16 large prawns peeled
- 2 tomatoes sliced
- pea Shoots
- 4 brioche burger bun
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 vanilla
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 150 ml olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- BBQ skewers
- small food processor or bowl/whisk
- mixing bowl x 2
- Add eggs, Dijon, lime juice, vanilla seeds & salt to a small food processor or a mixing bowl. Blitz/whisk to combine.
- Gradually add olive oil – blending/whisking the whole time until it thickens up.
- Store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Mix the salt, paprika & black pepper together. Toss the prawns in olive oil & lime juice and paprika spice mix. Skewer prawns to metal BBQ skewers.
- Heat BBQ to 200c and grill prawns for 2 minutes per side until lightly charred.
- Grill brioche bun
- Add a little aioli to base of bun, top with peashoots and 3 slices of tomato.
- Place 4 grilled prawns on each bun (more if you desire!) and drizzle aioli over the prawns.
- Place top bun on top and try stop yourself from eating a few of them ?
- the aioli can be made in advance and will be at it’s best for up to 3 days in the fridge
- make sure you get a nice char on the prawns for a little extra flavour so ensure your BBQ or grill pan is nice and hot
- if you cant get pea shoots then simple iceberg lettuce will work just fine too!