Hawaiian Garlic Prawns

Prawns are an incredible ingredient to play with. A lot of the fish markets here in Hong Kong have fresh prawns, but they can sometimes be quite small, which makes them harder to prepare for some dishes. There are some ingredients markets that also sell fresh huge jumbo prawns. Usually, though, I will buy frozen prawns for ease when I want to do a prawn dish. The prawns I buy are almost always shelled and de-veined, in order to make life even easier.

Of course this recipe will be even more amazing with fresh prawns, so if you have access to beautiful, fresh prawns – then go for it! But at the same time, given the recipe, if it’s cheaper to buy frozen prawns, I would recommend it. Fresh prawns deserve to be cooked with nothing but a bit of lemon juice. They’re delicious as is.

Because this recipe is extremely high in garlic content, and the prawns are being lightly coated in flour, you may find that the cheaper option for prawns will pay off.

This recipe is adapted from various Pinterest and Google finds on garlic prawns, after a friend suggested I look into Hawaiiwan prawns for the bag that I had in my freezer. I’ve not had Hawaiian garlic prawns in Hawaii, but I totally will the next time I make it over there.

Usually these prawns are served over rice, but I had mine over leftover cauliflower puree, and it was divine. The chilli and paprika give a great kick to the prawns, on top of the garlic, and make for a really flavourful dish.


150 grams prawns, peeled (with tail still attached if desired) and de-veined
1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
9 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Thai red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
30 grams unsalted butter
spring onions, roughly chopped, for garnish

  1. Place the flour, paprika, salt and pepper in a reusable, reseal-able bag.
  2. Add the prawns to the bag, seal, and shake to coat the prawns evenly. Set aside.
  3. In a large pan, melt the butter and half of the olive oil over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and chilli. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, or until the garlic just starts to brown. Take care not to burn the garlic.
  4. Place the garlic and butter sauce in a bowl, and set aside.
  5. Add the remaining oil to the (now empty) pan, and add the prawns. Cook the prawns over a medium heat for 3 minutes on each side.
  6. Once prawns are cooked through, add the garlic sauce back into the pan. Stir to combine.
  7. Divide between two bowls over cauliflower puree or white rice, and garnish with spring onions.

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