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prawns with black pepper curry leaf sauce

Prawns with Black Pepper and Curry Leaf Sauce

This dish is very simple and very tasty – a great sauce to compliment any barbecued seafood. To keep it even more simple, my Black Pepper & Curry Leaf Sauce is available for purchase – Simply brush on & barbecue or pan-fry



200ml vegetable oil
1 sprig curry leaves
6 Bombay onions, very finely chopped
1 5cm knob ginger, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
3 long red chillies, finely chopped
150g butter
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tsp black pepper roughly crushed
Salt, to taste
10-12 prawns, deshelled tails intact, deveined, washed

1 pomelo
Oil, for frying
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
½ cup freshly grated coconut
2 red chillies, flesh and seeds removed and julienned
2 sprigs curry leaves


Heat half the vegetable oil in a heavy-based pot over high heat. Add the curry leaves, bombay onions, ginger, garlic and chillies.

Stir until the onions are translucent. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the sugar, fish sauce, soy sauces, oyster sauce, pepper and salt. Stir to combine.

Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, to prepare the garnish, remove the skin from the pomelo by cutting off each end and prying the remaining skin away from the flesh with your fingers. Then separate each segment. Inside each segment, separate the flesh to get short strands, or “pearls”, to sprinkle over the finished dish.

Heat the oil in a pan. Once hot, add the red onion and fry until browned and crisp. Remove from heat and leave to cool. Combine the coconut and onion in a small bowl. Set aside until serving time.

Season the prawns with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Heat the remaining oil in a wok over high heat. When smoking, add the prawns, one at a time. Fry until the prawns are just cooked in the centre. Remove from the pan and transfer to a bowl.

Intertwine two of the prawns and arrange on a serving dish. Repeat with the remaining prawns. Spoon the sauce over the each pair of prawns.

Top the prawns with a small portion of the onion-coconut mixture, chilli, fried onion, pomelo strands and curry leaves. Serve.