“I’ll slip another shrimp on the barbie for ya”, promises a young Paul Hogan in the 1984 Australian tourism ad designed to get American tourists to visit our remarkable ‘land down under’.
Before this iconic campaign, Australia ranked number 78 on the most ‘desireable holiday hotspots’ in the States; which climbed to number 7 shortly after Hoges did his thing, wearing the famous lemon coloured polo.
Chris Hemsworth is the latest star to be flying the flag for Australian tourism in to the US with the new ad campaign premiering at the Super Bowl earlier this year. No mention of any ‘shrimp on the barbie’ though. Instead, they showcase the world class wines and fine dining options that Australia has to offer.
After all these years, I still reckon that there’s simply nothing better than throwing some ‘prawns’ on the barbie; surrounded by friends, a couple of eskys full of icy cold drinks, some tunes on in the background or better still – a game of cricket on the telly.
Prawns don’t only need to come out at Chrissie time either. These prawns are that ‘little bit special’ and really turn a simple ‘snag and potato bake’ kind of do in to an occasion to remember.
When talking about Australian food, you simply can’t overlook the large influence Asian cuisine and in particular that of the Thai cuisine plays in our everyday cooking. No longer do our dinner plates consist only of meat and three vege. People have been given so much more choice and freedom when it comes to food and are less reluctant to try new things.
These prawns pack a flavour punch, are quick to whip up and are so easy to cook. You really must try them!
So next time you’re invited round to a friends place, throw a kilo (or two) of prawns in to your shopping basket and turn up with this dish. It also helps if your host is a gun on the tongs – Thanks Joff!
You do this and I guarantee you’ll be asked round again. And soon.
prawns on the barbie | Thai style
1 kilo of king prawns
1 long red chilli, sliced
A piece of ginger, about the size of a 50 cent coin, minced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon of coconut oil, plus more for greasing the barbie hot plate
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
Juice of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve
Fresh coriander leaves, to serve
- Peel the prawns, leaving the tail intact and removing the intestinal tract (AKA poop chute).
- With a small sharp knife, cut a slight slit in the back of the prawn all the way from the head to tail (where the poop chute runs). You are essentially ‘butterflying’ the prawns which means that they’ll curl around and puff up beautifully when cooked.
- Simply throw the chilli, ginger, garlic, coconut oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice in a bowl and place the prawns in to marinade.
- If possible, leave the prawns covered in glad wrap in the fridge for a couple of hours to marinate. No worries if you’re short on time – you can still cook them straightaway.
- Add some coconut oil to a barbie hot plate (or a griddle pan) and throw the prawns on, letting them cook on one side before turning them over. They will take a few minutes on each side and you’ll know when they’re cooked as they’ll be nicely puffed up and be browned on the outside.
- Serve straight away, piled up with fresh coriander and lemon wedges. You better be quick as they’ll be gobbled up right before your eyes!
- You could also serve these tossed through some rice stick noodles, some shredded vege and some soy sauce for a main meal. Delish!
- These go down a treat with a cold beer or crisp glass of white wine.
- You can always make these with store bought peeled prawns, but there really is something about peeling them yourself. They seem to taste so much fresher and it adds to the ‘theatre’ of the dish, peeling them in front of your mates.
If you make these prawns, leave your comments below. xx