Fish & Shellfish

How To Cook Prawns

Fresh, succulent and juicy prawns make a perfect seafood dish. Great when simply sautéed with garlic, and even tastier when marinated in herbs and citrus juice before cooking. These tips will get you cooking prawns to perfection every time.

If there’s one ingredient that’s guaranteed to wow every dinner guest but is surprisingly simple to prepare, it’s prawns. Add a little garlic, some Stork Margarine and a squeeze of lemon and you’ve got yourself a restaurant-worthy dish in minutes. Here’s our do’s and don'ts for preparing simple yet elegant prawn dishes every time.

Smaller cold-water species of prawn are sweeter and more succulent making them an excellent choice for sandwiches and salads. Larger prawns are very flavoursome and adapt well to spicy dishes which is why they are regularly used in oriental cooking. Choose firm, juicy prawns that have translucent moist shells, with no black spots (unless you’re buying tiger prawns). The prawn should have a fresh and sea-like scent. Any strong odour suggests that the prawns are not fresh. Yellowish shells or dry spots indicate freezer burn.

Remove the head of the prawn by simply twisting the head off the body. Continue by pulling off the shell in segments, until you get to the tail. Squeeze and the tail should come off. Score down the back of the body of larger prawns with a sharp knife, exposing a black vein. Remove the vein using the tip of the knife. The vein is edible but can taste a bit gritty, particularly on larger prawns. Wash the prawns before cooking.


If you’re butterflying the prawn you should shell it but leave the tail in place. This will give you something to hold on to later. Remove the vein as mentioned above, but take extra care not to slice the prawn all the way through. Take the knife and work deeper into the prawn. Push the meat apart and you’re left with a butterfly prawn.

Prawns normally cook within a matter of minutes. In general, medium-sized prawns take 3-4 minutes to cook, large prawns 5-8 minutes and jumbo prawns take around 7-8 minutes. The prawns are cooked when their flesh has turned pink and opaque throughout. Just melt some Stork Margarine in a large frying pan, add the prawns and some finely chopped garlic and cook on high heat. Cut one of the larger prawns in half to check it is cooked through before serving. If cooking large amounts of prawns use two frying pans to ensure that the temperature of the pan remains high when the prawns hit the Stork Margarine.

For great extra flavour try marinating the prawns beforehand. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small pan, add one Knorr Chicken Stock Pot stirring constantly over medium to low heat until the pot melts. Take off the heat, add 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. Add the prawns to the marinade and place in the fridge for just 15-20 minutes (no longer) before cooking.

For a Spanish spin on fresh, juicy prawns, try our Paella with Prawns, Chicken and Peas recipe. A vibrant and flavour-packed dish, with the freshness of lemons, parsley and saffron to offset the hearty rice.

The delicious array of flavours are maximised through a Knorr Chicken Stock Pot, which is simmered with the rice until tender.