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Boiled Prawns

Here is a basic recipe for cooking prawns that are to be eaten cold with a dip, rémoulade sauce or in a salad. Whether you shell them before you cook them is a matter of personal preference. If you like, you can also use wine or beer as the cooking liquid, and you can increase the amount of chilli flakes if you like your prawns spicy.

Image of Boiled Prawns

Makes 1 lb.

2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
parsley sprigs
5 ml/1 teaspoon salt
15 ml/l tablespoon whole mustard seed
5 ml/1 teaspoon black pepper
1.5 ml/¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 lemon, sliced
450g/1 lb prawns


In a large saucepan, bring 2.5 l/4½ pts water to the boil. Add the carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaf and parsley and continue boiling about 10 minutes to release the vegetables' flavours into the cooking liquid. Add the spices and lemon and boil for another 2 minutes.


Add the prawns and boil just until the prawns are opaque and tightly curled, 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook or the prawns will become tough. Drain and refrigerate, or put on ice.

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