Seafood Prawn cocktail in glass bowls

Published on January 9th, 2011 | by Gareth


Prawn cocktail

There were lots of great things that emerged during the 1970’s; David Bowie, Mork & Mindy,  Boney M,  Abba,  choppers,  roller skates,  me….  however my all time favourite, like so many things is making a come back, the much maligned prawn cocktail.

I whipped up a couple of these beauties for our Christmas dinner entrée.  I had a hard audience to get across the line, including a Kiwi who doesn’t like seafood and had never tried prawns and someone else whose experience of prawns was shelled, cooked, frozen in the bag ‘mini’ prawns.

An image of freshly cooked prawns

Cooked tiger prawns at Sydney fish markets


An image of prawn cocktail without cocktail sauce

Awaiting a drizzle of cocktail sauce

For the sake of convenience I didn’t make my own mayonnaise (largely because the turkey and trimmings was keeping me busy enough), shameful but every so often I let myself cheat a little. That said mayo is easy enough to make and does make a difference (I will post a mayo recipe shortly). The end result was that all were sold on the prawn cocktail despite earlier reservations.

The handy thing about it is you can make the sauce in advance; it keeps in the fridge for a day or two.

Preparation time 30 mins (includes shelling the prawns)

An image of prawn cocktail in glass bowls

Prawn again


 Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 30-40 tiger prawns (the ones I chose were pre cooked and just needed shelling)
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • ½ cup good quality tomato ketchup
  • Juice of half lemon
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch of chilli powder, (Tabasco sauce also works well)
  • 1 tsp brandy
  • 12 small Ruby lettuce leaves (Cos lettuce is great alternative)
  • Handful of rocket leaves
  • ½ Avocado, sliced
  • Lime wedges
  • Paprika



  • Mix the mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, brandy, lemon juice, chilli powder, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl until smooth and salmon in colour. Set aside and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Shell and de vein the prawns leave a few whole to garnish.
  • Arrange 3-4 salad leaves in bowl.
  • Divide the prawns equally and arrange on the salad leaves along with the one or two slices of avocado.
  • Pour several spoonfuls of the sauce over the prawns.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge and a pinch of paprika.
A profile image of prawn cocktails

Prawn to be wild

Prawn cocktail with paprika

Prawn star


About the Author

Englishman in Sydney loves a whisky, pies and all things savoury. Digital Marketer by day, cook the rest of the time. Amateur writer, photographer & aspiring anthropologists.

10 Responses to Prawn cocktail

  1. hee i love prawn cocktails! esp with heaps of mayo yum and man now i totally want to go roller skating!

  2. Lorriane Not Quite Nigella says:

    I’m so glad that the pran cocktail is making a comeback! I was a big fan too! Aspic on the other hand…not so fond 😛

  3. Fran says:

    Yum! Retro 70’s food at its best. How about putting it in half an Avocado?

  4. Donna, says:

    My partner only likes 60s and 70s food so I tried out the prawn cocktail with a difference as Ive never added brandy before,he who is so difficult to please was really impressed,

    • Gareth says:

      Well that sounds like a food run on the board then. Maybe I will give a few more 70s classics a mini makeover then….perhaps try the chilli recipe?

  5. Pingback: Chicken liver & cognac pâté - 70s cuisine comes back? | Humble Crumble

  6. Fran says:

    I am planning to make this for my mother in laws birthday. I love prawn cocktail amd talking about 70’s food, it seems you have forgotten about the garlic breadstick (served in tin foil!)

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