BBQ prawns & pepper sauce

Fire up the barbie for Christmas and get an Asian twist going on. This dish is designed to go in the middle of the table with steamed rice for a fantastic, tasty lunch.


  • 12 extra-large green tiger king prawns, mid-section peeled
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp julienned ginger, to serve
  • 3 tbsp chopped chives, to serve
  • 1/3 cup coriander, to serve

  • For the black pepper sauce
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp whole white peppercorns
  • 1½ tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • ¼ tsp of chilli flakes
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ tsp cornflour with ¼ tsp water


For the black pepper sauce, toast the peppercorns in a pan over a medium heat for 1 minute, then grind roughly using a mortar and pestle, and reserve.

Pound the garlic and chilli using a mortar and pestle. Fry in oil in a wok over medium heat until fragrant (about 30 seconds), add peppercorns and fry, until almost smoking, for a further 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add the sauce’s remaining ingredients except the cornflour-and-water mix, and simmer until thickened slightly – about 2 minutes. Add cornflour mix slowly, until desired consistency is achieved (this will be dependent on the strength of their stove).

Preheat barbecue or grill pan on medium-high. Place prawns in a bowl, season, drizzle over oil, and toss to combine. Grill for 2-3 minutes, then turn over. Cook until the prawns turn opaque, red and just cooked.

Place prawns on a large platter, top with the pepper sauce, and garnish with ginger, chives and coriander.

Tip: Add a green base to this dish: stir-fry a couple of bunches of water spinach in a wok with a little oil, garlic, water, sea salt and white pepper, and top with oyster sauce and bird’s-eye chilli slices.

NOTES: First published in the Good Weekend.