Today and many other days during Aussie summer it's about BBQ prawns. These gorgeous plump prawns are grilled on my Masterbuilt BBQ, served with a "fancy" saffron aioli and a simple but oh so tasty mango chilli salsa. The recipe is a great one to serve as an appetizer or as a lunch dish to friends/family alongside a little salad and some crusty bread. The only question is what to drink with them. Don't stress, scroll a little more and you will see my delicious wine pairing from another great Australian winery!
Why I Love This Recipe
- fancy but pretty simple
- light and healthy
- it's summer and nothing beats grilled prawns
- has serious curb appeal
- it's Australian summer on a plate
We are knocking on the door of Summer here in Australia. Mangoes are in season and are plentiful in the shops, BBQ's are being lit everywhere and prawns are being consumed. This BBQ prawns recipe is one that I love to whip up for friends, family and loved ones. We always say we eat with our eyes and where that might actually be quite sore these grilled prawns will certainly make you want to dive right in!
Picture a warm summers breeze, a nice bottle of Riesling open, a platter of BBQ prawns with sweet and spice mango chilli salsa drizzled over the top - does it get any better?
Is so delicious. Do I need to write more? It's a simple aioli made using saffron strands, egg yolks, garlic, mustard, lemon juice and a little maple syrup too. This delicious aioli pairs so well with the charred BBQ prawns and the sweetness from the mango chilli salsa.
To make the aioli simply place saffron, garlic, maple syrup, Dijon, salt, ice-cold water & lemon juice in a small food processor and blend to bring together. Then add the egg yolks and blend. Gradually add the oil until combined and thickened.
TOP TIP - leave the saffron aioli in the fridge for 15-30 minutes before serving for the flavours to marry.
Click through this LINK to see how to make my basic aioli. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, then try these other ideas out too!
What is Saffron?
Saffron is the world's most expensive and sought after spice. Luckily for me, the guys at SloFoodGrp hooked me up with some, and boy, am I impressed by the quality. So far, I have used it in this recipe to make aioli, to make paella, to have saffron rice with some spiced chicken. Next on my list is dessert, just not sure in what form yet so hit me up if you have any ideas.
Saffron is known in the plant world as 'crocus sativus' and is grown in Morocco, Iran, India & Afghanistan, to name a few. It is red in colour with yellow hues too. The saffron that I am lucky enough to work with is a high-quality Negin cut, which is grade 1 saffron. This particular saffron is known as Persian saffron and continues to be the most valued for its colouring and flavour.
What Does Saffron Taste Like?
Good question. It's often described as floral, some say "pungent," and also honey comes into play with descriptors. I've even heard dried grass and chilli being used too. Truthfully to me, it smells and tastes like saffron. There is no easy way to describe it, in my opinion. It's a distinctive taste and smell. The easiest way to find out is just to head to the SloFoodGrp page and buy some:)
Easy Mango Chilli Salsa
One of my favourite things to make when mangoes are in season. It's fresh, flavourful and simple. Using just a handful of ingredients and about 5 minutes of your time and you can whip this up to.
It works great with these BBQ prawns but also with pork, chicken, grilled salmon or any white fish. I used red cayenne chillis in this recipe but you can use any chilli you like - jalapeno if you want it less spicy or habanero if you wanna bring the heat!
Simply, dice up the onion & chilli as finely as you like, dice your mango and chop up a little coriander. Add a glug of olive oil, a spritz of lime and a pinch of salt. The salsa will keep in the fridge for a couple days but is best eaten within 24 hours in my opinion.
Preparing The Prawns
Probably the "trickest' part of the dish but if you follow these simple steps it's surprisingly simple. Firstly, fresh prawns are best. Nice large juicy prawns from your local fishmonger. At least if you are going to butterfly them then you will need larger prawns to do so.
Can't get fresh prawns or the prawns are too small? No stress, you can either peel them completely, skewer them and grill them up or peel the shell (leaving the head) and grill them up. Recipes are there to follow but there are always alternative ways to doing things so don't be afraid to pivot a little whilst following the quantities used as close as possible.
So, on that note here is how I prepare my prawns for grilling
- pat them dry - this helps to keep them stable when cutting them. You could also hold the prawn with a paper towel
- use a serrated knife - the shell can be hard to cut through like the crust on a good bread so a serrated knife will make the job 10 times easier and keep those fingers intact
- place the prawn on a chopping board with the palm of your hand on top.
- slice down the center of the prawn firmly to cut throuhgh the shell but gently enough so you don't go all the way through
- you are looking to cut about 3/4 into the prawn and then gently flatten them out
TOP TIP - after cutting the prawns open remember to remove the little black sack along the side of the prawn. Any guesses what that might be........
An Aussie pastime! Grilled prawns or shrimp is the quintessential thing many people think about when they think of Australia. Well, aside from snakes, sharks, spiders, and other creatures that can kill you. Luckily this is a food blog and not National Geographic, so I won't go into those guys. I love grilling some prawns on my bbq. Not because I Iive in Australia, but I love that charred flavour you get from grilling them coupled with the sweet prawn meat.
When making this BBQ prawns & saffron aioli dish, you can definitely substitute smaller fried prawns if you can't bbq or get hold of delicious tiger prawns like these fellas, but try using a grill pan indoors if possible. The extra char is undoubtedly worth it.
What's a meal without wine. Eh, breakfast! Ok, true but what's lunch or dinner without wine? White wines are being cracked a plenty of late and one I recently discovered and both myself and Mrs AnotherFoodBlogger are LOVING it. Get to the point I hear you say....................
Two Hands Wines 'lots of in, lots of out' Riesling from Coal River, Tasmania. She is a beaut! Previously I had only tasted red wines from the guys at Two Hands so to discover their Riesling and love it so much was a serious win. It's often hard to find wines that we drink together but after BBQ'ing these prawns and sitting out on the back deck with a nice cold glass of rizza we were in our element!
This wine is part of their Picture Series. This series of wines is about quality, fun and evoking thought/memories. Ultimately bringing a smile on your face and an even bigger smile once you have cracked the bottle. The Riesling has a picture of bowling pins and a ball which makes me think of growing up and enjoying days bowling and now with my daughter the same. The in & out part (whether it's this or not) makes me think about all those shots that as a child (and now an adult) I could never make wanting to swing the ball in/out to get the pins.
The wine has the right amount of acidity, nice floral notes with plenty of those citrus characteristics you get from young Rieslings. There is a little salinity to it with good length and an all-around feeling of happiness when drunk. A bottle in an ice bucket, a warm spring/summers day and some BBQ prawns and life just feels good!
Alternative Prawn Recipes
Inspired by my BBQ prawns recipe and want/need more prawns in your life? Check out these recipes below by myself and fellow foodies for just the right amount of inspiration 😉
Grilled Prawn Sandwich w/ Vanilla Lime Aioli by Yours Truly
Shrimp Saag by Claire McEwen of 'Sprinkles & Sprouts'
Pork & Prawn Dumplings by Yours Truly
Garlic Roasted Prawns w/ Fregola Sarda by Etienne Karner of 'Between 2 Kitchens'
Prawn & Tomato Risotto by Yours Truly
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!
- 12 large prawns
- 1 diced mango
- 4 tbsp diced red onion
- 1 red chilli finely chopped
- 2 tbsp coriander finely chopped
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp saffron strands
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 clove garlic - crushed
- 1 pinch salt
- 100 ml olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp cold water
- chefs knives
- small food processor
- mixing bowl
- Measuring utensils
- grill pan/bbq/oven
- Chopping board
- Cut prawns using a serrated knife along the back until they can be flattened out, being careful not to cut all the way through. Using a pairing knife find the intestinal sack of the prawn (along the side of the flesh) and remove
- Drizzle prawns in a little oil and salt and BBQ for about 1.5 minutes per side or grill on medium to high heat for 2 minutes per side.
- Mix all ingredients together and store in the fridge until ready to use
- Place saffron, garlic, maple syrup, Dijon, salt, ice cold water & lemon juice in a small food processor and blend to bring together.
- Once blended add egg yolks, blitz and gradually add olive oil until it all comes together and thickens up.
- Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Store in fridge until ready to use.
- aioli will keep for 3 – 5 days in the fridge
- salsa is best eaten same day but will keep for 1 – 2 days.