Chilli Prawns with Aioli

The weekend started with a nostalgic ‘The Only Ones‘ gig at Koko, and ended with a boozy tapas extravaganza of which this was the main attraction. Between the two the sun shone on Bethnal Green, a traveler returned and Thunderbirds Were Go.

Chilli Prawns with Aioli

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Skill level: Easy/Medium


For the aioli

  • 2 egg yolks
  • olive oil – 150 ml
  • lemon juice – 1 tbsp
  • 3 garlic cloves – crushed
  • saffron – pinch – crushed
  • s & p

For the prawns

  • large cooked prawns – as many as you want or can afford
  • olive oil
  • 1 red chilli – de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves – crushed

Put the egg yolks and garlic in a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.

Now for the tricky bit: Pour in a few small drops of olive oil and whisk until the mixture is thick. Then add a few more drops and continue this process. Don’t worry, it won’t take as long as you think. The important thing is to start slowly and don’t add any more oil until the mixture is thick. As this process continues you can speed up the rate at which you pour the oil.


You should now have a thick, creamy and slightly green mayonnaise.

Whisk in the lemon juice. Add the saffron and season to taste.


TIP: If the aioli fails to thicken because you have added the oil too quickly, or if the mixture separates, relax, it is easily sorted. Whisk another egg yolk in a clean bowl and SLOWLY add the runny/separated aoili mixture drop by drop as described above. Easy.

Next heat some oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan and add the garlic and chilli. Saut̩ briefly until the garlic is softened and add the prawns. Continue cooking over a highish heat for 3 Р4 minutes until the prawns are sizzling hot.

prawns sizzling

Serve immediately.

Verdict: A great combo. Delicious.

Drink: A cocktail of Bitburger, red wine and a misconceived Leffe.

Entertainment: ’15 Storeys High’, series 1, episode 3. This is Sean Lock’s dark, funny and under-appreciated sitcom set in a tower block.

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