BBQ Prawns or Shrimp and Aioli Recipe

barbecue prawns with aioli

I made these little babies to enter a competition in a food magazine here in Australia and didn’t win but my stomach and taste buds were winners! Some of the winning photographs were pretty rough so I felt like I was robbed of victory! ;-) Don’t let my bad photographs turn you off cooking these little orange bundles of mouth joy though as they’re a real treat!

If you’re in the US just pretend I’m saying “shrimp” whenever I say “prawn” as that’s what we call them here in Australia. It’s mostly just a regional naming thing but some places will call the larger species the prawn and the smaller species the shrimp. From my experience though, America calls all these little orange beauties shrimp and Commonwealth countries like Australia call them prawns. My friend who doesn’t like them at all calls them cockroaches of the sea but what sort of person doesn’t love prawns?!

marinated prawns

Prawns marinating. You could peel the prawns before cooking them if you don’t want to make a mess while eating them but leaving their shells on seems to lock in the flavour. Making a mess while eating is part of the deal when you have shelled seafood or ribs. Fellow diners give you a free pass, you’re allowed to look like a pig.

bbq prawnsI think I might have sent this photograph above to the magazine competition. It’s definitely no masterpiece but if you saw some of the winning pictures I think you would agree with me, I was robbed!

bbq shrimp and aioliThis photograph was my other entry. I tried to make the first picture a little rustic and second one more formal.

BBQ Prawns and Aioli recipeSummer just isn’t summer without BBQ prawns.. and I must confess that I usually have them with store bought seafood cocktail sauce.. yum!

BBQ Prawns or Shrimp and Aioli Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
You could use shelled prawns with the tail left on if you don't want to peel them on the plate.
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: BBQ
Serves: 4
  • 20 to 30 King Prawns, green with shells on
  • ¾ cup of Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • Fresh Lime to serve
  • Chili Flakes, Optional
Lime Aioli Ingredients
  • 4 to 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Potato
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 cup of Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Aioli Instructions
  1. I have made this with or without the Potato. Boil or bake the Potato until it's soft inside. Scoop the flesh out of the Potato skin and into a bowl.
  2. Grind the Garlic with some salt added with a mortar and pestle, or use a good bowl and the end of a rolling pin if you don't have a pestle. Then add it to a blender with the Egg Yolks, Pepper, and half of the Potato. Blend it until it forms a nice consistent paste and then very slowly add the oil a few drops at a time while the blender is running. If you add it too quickly the mixture will separate and it wont look pretty! Once the oil has all been added, add some Lime Juice, Salt, and Pepper to taste.
Prawns or Shrimp Instructions
  1. Use a large bowl to marinate the Prawns. Add the Olive Oil, chopped Garlic Cloves and the Chili Flakes if you're using them. Stir the mix and then add the Prawns in their shells to the bowl. You can use shelled Prawns if you wish. Mix them all well, cover the bowl, and put them in the fridge for about half an hour.
  2. Fire up the grill on your barbecue to high and cook for a few minutes on each side. If you don't want to chargrill or BBQ them you can simply use a frying pan on the stove to achieve a similar result. Serve with a squeeze of Lime Juice and the Aioli.
You can add all sorts of ingredients to the aioli. Things like dijon mustard, various fresh herbs or nuts all work very well.

Enjoy! :-)

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