Chargrilled Prawns with Coriander and Lime

We use our barbecue as much as possible for a myriad of things and with Spring warming the air a bit, the barbecue is on a lot more these days.  There’s a confusion, at least for me, about the difference between a prawn and a shrimp.  To me, they both appear to be the same.  But, according to one site I visited, prawns and shrimps belong to different suborders.  Prawns belong to the suborder Dendrobranchiata, while shrimps belong to the suborder Pleocyemata. Their gill structure and abominable segments are different and the front pincers of shrimp that are typically the largest while prawns feature bigger second pincers. Prawns also have longer legs compared to shrimps.  Female prawns shed their eggs into the currents where the eggs develop independently. Shrimps on the other hand, brood their eggs.  After researching this it doesn’t really matter either way for me as both taste great.  Shrimp is a nutritious alternative to meat proteins and is low in calories and saturated fat.  Shrimp also emerged as a very good source of vitamin D and vitamin B12.  For more health benefits of shrimp, click here.

Serves 6 as a starter
recipe from Australian Table magazine
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80ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
24 large prawns, peeled and deveined with tails left intact
baby spinach leaves, to serve

Place oil, lime juice, coriander leaves, ginger, garlic and ground coriander in a food processor and process until smooth. Place prawns and 2/3 of paste in a bowl and stir to coat. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Heat a barbecue grill or plate on high. Place prawns on BBQ and cook 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. Arrange baby spinach on plates and place prawns on top of spinach. Serve drizzled with remaining coriander mixture.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: I found that 2 tablespoons of ginger overpowered the sauce and to tame it somewhat, I added a teaspoon of honey to the coriander mixture. That did the trick and you could taste all the herbs without one flavor standing out more than the other. A very aromatic dish and one that didn’t last long once served.   Enjoy!


  1. Peter M on April 12, 2010 at 18:37

    Heather, the shrimp look sexy, succulent and the herbs would make this very tasty.

  2. The Curious Cat on April 12, 2010 at 20:39

    Sounds delicious! I love coriander with prawns…and I never knew that about the difference between shrimp and prawns – I used to think they were the same thing too! xxx

  3. Kalyn on April 12, 2010 at 22:50

    This looks delicious!

  4. The Culinary Chase on April 13, 2010 at 18:24

    Thanks Peter, Curious Cat & Kalyn. A quick and delicious starter that will have everyone at the table asking for more! Cheers!