Grilled prawns are grilled prawns. If you buy a nice, plump, fresh product from your favorite guy at the fish counter, you’re going to have a good time — even if you scorch the thing. But please don’t. Oftentimes grilled prawns (and shrimp for that matter) can be straightforward. Salt and pepper, a burst of acid. Done. New York City chef Harold Dieterle does the opposite, brushing the little guys with a spread made with some of Thailand’s most iconic flavors: coriander, lemongrass, galangal and lots of coconut milk. It’s as if you were sipping a bottle of Chang on a beach in Ko Samui. And when cooking with prawns, always leave the head on. That’s where the flavor is.
Also see: Harold Dieterle Bought A Big Green Egg
- 2 teaspoons red Thai chili, seeds removed, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon shallots, sliced
- 1 teaspoon galangal, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon lemongrass core, sliced thinly
- 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
- 1 teaspoon ground white peppercorn
- 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon minced cilantro stems
- 1 teaspoo kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sumac (optional)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 16 prawns, peeled with head still attached
- 1 lime, cut into quarters
For the grilled prawns
Place all ingredients through the coconut milk in a blender and run until smooth and paste-like. Reserve in a small bowl.
Heat the grill to 550 to 600°. Hot. Brush one side of each prawn with the paste and season the other with salt or pepper. Cook the prawns on a hot grill on one side, covered for 3 minutes. The grill will serve as a sort of oven, so there is no need to flip. Remove from the grill and squirt with lime juice. Serve immediately.