Cajun-style prawn cocktail

Breathe new life into prawn cocktail, a classic Christmas cocktail. With the addition of some Cajun spices, it’s a flavour-packed modern twist

  • Prep:25 mins
    Cook:10 mins
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 648
  • fat 42g
  • saturates 4g
  • carbs 47g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 8g
  • protein 16g
  • salt 1.94g


  • 225g frozen raw peeled king prawns, defrosted
  • 100ml buttermilk (if you can’t find buttermilk, mix the same amount of yogurt with the juice of ½ lemon)
  • ½ iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1 ripe avocado, stoned, halved, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • finely chopped chives, to garnish
  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tbsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tbsp ground white pepper
  • 1½ tbsp garlic powder
  • 1½ tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 3 tsp capers, drained and finely chopped
  • 30g gherkins, finely chopped
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g fine cornmeal or polenta
  • 2 tsp baking powder


  1. First, combine all the ingredients for the Cajun seasoning. Mix the prawns with the buttermilk and 3 tbsp of the Cajun seasoning in a large bowl, then set aside.

  2. To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Season and set aside. Combine all the ingredients for the coating in a separate bowl with the remaining Cajun seasoning and a pinch of salt, then set aside.

  3. Take one prawn at a time, gently shake off any excess buttermilk mixture, then dip into the coating using a fork, turning to ensure it is fully covered before transferring to a plate. Leave to rest for 15 mins.

  4. Fill each glass almost to the top with lettuce, then spoon 2 tbsp of the sauce into each. Divide the avocado slices between four martini glasses, arranging them in a fan against the rim of each glass, so the tops are sticking up over the rims.

  5. Heat a 10cm depth of oil in a shallow saucepan or deep-fat fryer until it reaches 180C, or when a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns within 20 seconds. Fry the coated prawns in batches of 10 for 4-5 mins per batch until golden and crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper using a slotted spoon and leave to drain. Repeat until all the prawns are cooked, then season with salt and divide between the glasses. Sprinkle over the chives.

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