Crunchy salt and pepper prawns with sweet chilli syrup

Spicy, salty and crunchy, these delicious prawns are perfect served as a starter at dinner parties or barbecues. Serve with this zesty sweet chilli syrup for extra flavour.

  • 20 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking
  • Makes 30
  • Print


Sweet chilli syrup
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) water
  • 1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 1 small piece fresh ginger, chopped finely
  • 2 fresh coriander roots and stems, washed, sliced thinly
Crunchy salt and pepper prawns with sweet chilli syrup
  • 30 (800g) uncooked medium prawns, shelled and deveined, tails intact
  • 3/4 cup japanese breadcrumbs (panko)
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon piri piri seasoning
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 1 egg white, beaten lightly
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 fresh long red chilli, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, chopped, to garnish


Crunchy salt and pepper prawns with sweet chilli syrup
  • 1
    To make the sweet chilli syrup: In a small saucepan, combine ingredients and stir over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes, or until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil; reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat; stand for 15 minutes, then discard lime leaves.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, shell and devein prawns, leaving tails intact.
  • 3
    In a small bowl, combine crumbs, pepper, seasoning and salt. Holding prawns by the tail, dip one at a time into egg white, then coat in crumb mixture.
  • 4
    Fill a large saucepan or deep-fryer one-third full with oil; heat to 180°C (160°C fan-forced), or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds. Deep-fry the prawns, in batches, for about 1 minute, or until cooked through and crisp. Drain on paper towel.
  • 5
    Sprinkle prawns with chilli and coriander leaves; serve with sweet chilli syrup for dipping.


The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead; store, covered, in the fridge. Prawns can be crumbed 3 hours ahead; store, covered, in the fridge. Japanese breadcrumbs (panko) are available at selected supermarkets and Asian grocery stores.

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