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Retro prawn cocktail

Serves   6
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 0

A new spin on an old favourite.





  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced, 1 cut into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 medium-sized butterhead lettuce
  • 30 cooked shelled prawns
  • 2 tomatoes, finely diced



  1. Defrost prawns in the fridge, not in the microwave or at room temperature.
  2. Remove packaging and put prawns in a bowl, covered, and leave overnight. If you need a faster defrost, don't use the microwave; sit the bowl (tightly covered) into a basin of cold water for an hour or so.
  3. If not cooking prawns whole, twist off the head, hold the tail and carefully remove the shell from around the body; the tail can be left on or taken off.
  4. De-vein by making a cut along the top of the body, then use a sharp knife to remove the dark vein-like digestive tract.


  1. If you plan to cook your prawns, they are best bought raw. Re-cooking cooked prawns only makes them tough.
  2. Slightly undercook prawns as they'll keep cooking with residual heat once removed from the pan or grill.
  3. If you're serving them with barbecued or grilled steak, don't put the prawns on until the steak is 90% ready - and then only give them a couple of minutes maximum on each side.
  4. Prawns only need a few minutes to cook - any longer and they'll become tough.
  5. Prawns can be boiled, deep-fried, crumbed and deep-fried, pan-fried or grilled.
  6. Cooked prawns should be springy, sweet and juicy; overdone, they will be dry, tough and have little flavour.
  7. If re-heating cooked prawns, warm over a moderate heat.


  1. Mix together the mayonnaise, tomato sauce and cream. Season with the Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice to taste.
  2. Wash lettuce and shake leaves dry. Shred finely and divide among 6 individual serving dishes or glasses.
  3. Place 4-6 prawns on top of lettuce and spoon on a generous serve of the cocktail sauce.
  4. Decorate with diced tomato, a lemon wedge and a sprig of parsley.