Braaied prawns are very popular. The fire makes the shells nice and crisp while giving the meat a caramelised and smoky favour. When braaing prawns it’s not important that they be shelled but they do have to be deveined. The shells give flavour and keep them from drying out. Prawns are widely available in South Africa but usually sold frozen. Defrost by leaving them in a bucket or bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. During the braai you preferably want the prawns exposed to direct heat from the coals, so either skewer them and place those skewers in a hinged grid or braai them in a pan with holes in it. Prawns only need to be turned once during the braai, and don’t worry if the shells get charred here and there as you can peel them off
- 1 kg prawns (deveined but preferably in shell and with heads)
- Jan Braai Peri-Peri sauce
- 1 tot chopped parsley
- Thaw the prawns by putting them in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes.
- Devein the prawns: Cut open the back of each tail with kitchen scissors starting at the gap between the head and the tail, and then pull out the whole vein using the tine of a fork. This is not a particularly tough job, but takes a while to complete for 1 kg of prawns.Your fishmonger will probably do it for you at a minimal charge so don’t be shy to ask.
- Drain the prawns and then drizzle the marinade over them and toss, ensuring all the prawns are coated with sauce. Chucking the prawns and marinade into a plastic bag and sealing it is also an easy way to do it. Let them marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- To give the prawns direct exposure to the coals, braai them in a pan with holes in the bottom, a braai basket or on skewers. The prawns are ready after about 6 minutes on medium to hot coals; you will see they are done when the shells change colour from white to pink and the flesh from glassy to opaque.
- During the 6-minute braai, boil the marinade that is left over in the bowl or bag you used to marinate the prawns in. It’s very important that any sauce used as a marinade should be boiled before using it as a dipping sauce.
- When the prawns are ready, remove from the fre, pour the hot boiled sauce over them and serve immediately. Alternatively, you can discard the marinade and serve the prawns with fresh peri-peri sauce.
- You can also braai the prawns in a normal fireproof, paella-type pan. In that case just throw the prawns and all the marinade into the pan and fry over high heat (lots of coals or even flames) for 6 minutes
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