Helen Graves’s prawns with fennel-seed butter recipe

Sometimes simple is best. Make sure to melt the butter at the last minute so it sizzles when it’s poured over the prawns, and follow it with a squeeze of lemon. I serve this with a glass of cold white wine.

prawns with fennel-seed butter
Rob Billington

SERVES 2-4, depending on sides
SETUP Direct cooking
PREP TIME 5 minutes
COOK TIME 5 minutes

Vegetable oil, for cooking
12 shell-on king prawns
1 tbsp fennel seeds
50g butter
1 tsp dried chilli flakes, or to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice, plus wedges to serve
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Prepare a barbecue for direct cooking over medium heat.
  2. Lightly oil the prawns, season with salt and grill them over direct heat for 1-2 minutes on each side, until completely pink. Transfer to a serving plate.
  3. Lightly crush the fennel seeds (either in a pestle and mortar or with something heavy), then combine them with the butter, chilli flakes, lemon juice and some salt and pepper in a small saucepan. Sizzle gently for a minute, then pour the butter over the hot prawns.
  4. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges.

TO COOK INDOORS Preheat a cast-iron griddle pan over a high heat for at least 5 minutes and cook the prawns for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until pink all over.

Buy the book

live fireOur recipes are taken from Live Fire: Seasonal Barbecue Recipes and Stories of Live Fire Traditions Old and New by Helen Graves (Hardie Grant, £26). To order a copy for £22.10 with free p&p until 19 May, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937.