How to Cook 5-Minute Spicy Garlic Prawns

This is one of my favourite ways to cook prawns; it’s quick, easy, and uncomplicated, and it goes great with steamed rice. It’s based on my stepmom’s recipe, but the flavour is also somewhat influenced by my experience eating at the Vietnamese-run Urban Crayfish Station in Las Vegas a couple of years back.

This time around I used Australian Crystal Bay Prawns, which are popular among Asians who like to eat prawns whole, because the shells on this variety of prawns are soft. You may, of course, peel the prawns if you so wish, but even with other prawn varieties, we Asians do tend towards cooking them with the shells intact.

Spicy Garlic Prawns


300g fresh prawns, preferably shell intact & slit along spine

1 ½ TBSP minced garlic

2 tsps chopped fresh bird’s eye chilli or 1 TBSP chopped large chilli

2 tsps chicken powder or 1 tsp salt

Dash of pepper (optional)

Curry leaves (optional)

3 TBSPS ghee, butter or cooking oil


  1. Trim prawn feelers, slit the shell along the spine (I use scissors) and devein.
  2. Heat ghee/butter/cooking oil, then add minced garlic and saute for about 10 seconds.
  3. Add chillies (and curry leaves if using) and fry a further 10 seconds.
  4. Add prawns and fry on both sides until cooked, sprinkling chicken powder (or salt) and pepper halfway through.
  5. Remove and serve.


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