Man Food With Mark Hix: BBQ Piri-Piri Prawns

Most Popular

I can think of nothing better than spending
 an afternoon barbecuing shellfish by the sea, especially if I’ve been out in my boat and had a successful catch in the lobster pots.

My friend Stuart re-baits the pots for me when I’m not by the coast, and I’ve even set up a saltwater tank in my store room to keep surplus lobsters fresh for sunny days.

Shellfish requires very little preparation.
I like to use a wood-fired oven (I’ve got one in 
my garden) although
a barbecue will work just as well. Wild garlic leaves go beautifully with these little beauties.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Mix a handful of the leaves with a little rapeseed oil and use the paste to baste the fish while it’s cooking. At the height of the shellfish season (it varies between crustacean species), I like to do
 a shellfish feast with everything from lobster and crab to prawns and mussels.

It’s a platter which tastes amazing, and looks the business in the middle of the table.


Most Popular

Try to buy the largest prawns that you can find — good fishmongers these days tend to have a pretty broad selection and those gigantic ones are much more impressive.

Piri piri is an Angolan name for a type of chilli, and the term came
to be used all over the Portuguese empire for hot meat and fish dishes prepared in the following way.


About 750g–1kg large prawns, preferably still with their heads and shells on

80g (or more to taste) mild red chillies

Half a red pepper, deseeded

4–5tbsps olive oil

A good pinch of salt

Lemon or lime wedges to serve


1 | If, like me, you prefer leaving the shells of your prawns on, use a sharp, serrated knife to cut into the back of the prawn and remove the black vein. Rinse the prawns carefully under cold water and pat dry on kitchen paper. If you prefer them peeled, simply remove the body shell, leaving the head and tail attached.

2 | In a blender or liquidiser, blend the chillies, red pepper, olive oil and salt until smooth, then mix carefully with the prawns and store in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple of hours.

3 | You can either barbecue 
the prawns or cook them
 on a griddle pan. Preheat either well. Next, thread the prawns onto a metal skewer. Cook 
the prawns for 2–3 minutes
 on each side if they’re medium-sized, or for a couple of minutes extra if they’re large. Turn the prawns if they begin to burn (or move them
to a cooler part of the barbecue). Serve with lemon
 or lime wedges.

Photographs by Jason Lowe

What do you think?

The Nightjar
8 London Bars You Can Drink In After Midnight
​To celebrate the arrival of the night tube, here are the best London spots for after hours drinking​
Best lunch restaurants London: Clockjack Chicken burger
Food & Drink
The Secret Guide To Lunch In Soho
Forget Pret and do lunch properly
Food & Drink
London's Best International Breakfasts
Keep your bacon roll, we'll have a confit pork belly sandwich
Burger at Patty & Bun, Redchurch Street, Shoreditch
Food & Drink
Where To Eat & Drink In London This Week: Doughnuts, Burgers & Vermouth On A Roof
We've got you covered​​
Meatballs and pasta at Searcy's Champagne Bar, OneNew Change
Food & Drink
Where To Eat & Drink In London This Week: Cocktail, Champagne And National Oyster Day
​We've got you covered​​
Wedding crashers
Food & Drink
The Science Behind Why Everyone Is Suddenly Your Best Friend When You're Drunk
Also revealed: why you can't stop stumbling around​
Cacio Pepe
Food & Drink
How To Cook This Summer's Trendiest Dish
​​It might look like basic cheesy pasta, but there's a reason why 'cacio e pepe' is on every hip menu at the moment, including Russell...
Best Brunch London: Jinjuu Squid
The Best Bottomless Brunches In London
Our favourite new food fad sweeping the capital
Wolfgang Puck
Food & Drink
Wolfgang Puck: What I've Learned
Wit and wisdom from a true icon of eating​
The Esquire Guide To Budapest
​​Ahead of the Hungarian Gran Prix, Esquire travel guru Tom Barber offers up his essentials for a weekend in Budapest​