What’s cooking today: King giant red prawns with cumin butter

What’s cooking today: King giant red prawns with cumin butter
Tony Jackman’s prawns with cumin butter. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Cumin as the chief aromatic in a prawn dish makes a change from the ubiquitous garlic-lemon butter that often flavours shrimp.

King giant red prawns, also called Patagonian or Argentinean, live in the southern Atlantic Ocean and are named for their vivid red hue once the shells are cooked.

You first make your cumin butter which also contains garlic, in this instance crushed dried garlic, as I did not want to risk the little bits of fresh garlic turning black and acrid. This is key, because prawns need considerable heat to cook through quickly, leaving a big risk factor for burning fresh garlic.

(Serves 2)


12 to 16 king giant red prawns

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

Garlic powder

100 g butter

A splash of olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Asian noodles, soaked in boiled water until soft


Prepare the prawns: snip off the feelers, cut through the back and lift out the veins. Remove the heads and shell the tails if you like, leaving only the tail fin intact for presentation, or cook them with the shells on. I removed the shells.

Boil a kettle and pour the boiled water over the noodles in a bowl, leaving it to steep while you work.

Melt butter with the cumin seeds and garlic powder on a low heat and let it simmer for a few minutes for the spice to infuse the butter. Add a dash of olive oil to the butter.

Spoon or pour some of the cumin butter into your frying pan (I used the base of a Le Creuset buffet) and cook the prawns in batches, turning once. Add more cumin butter as you work.

When prawns are all cooked, add more butter to the pan and melt and heat. Toss the cooked and drained noodles in this. Run coriander through the noodles. Squeeze the lime juice over.

Serve in bowls, with the prawns on top and garnished with chopped coriander leaves. DM

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.

This dish is photographed on a cobalt blue plate by Mervyn Gers Ceramics.


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