Spanish Tapas-style Prawns with Smoked Aïoli

Spanish Tapas-style Prawns with Smoked Aïoli

A table full of tapas. The tang of chilled Spanish rosado on your sun-freckled lips. The soulful sound of conversation in Spanish – like the melodious quality of a guitar, ringing in your ears. The hot sun on your skin, as searingly vibrant as the scarlet-painted walls of the outdoor taverna you sit in. These are the things I crave when eating a plate of these delicious prawns; the taste of holidays in Spain.

Serve alongside other tapas dishes or simply with a a very large hunk of crusty bread and my smoked aïoli. This is one of those dishes that reminds of how lovely it is to get stuck into food with your hands. Best shared in good company.

Buttery Garlic & Chilli Prawns with Smoked Aïoli

Buttery Garlic & Chilli Prawns with Smoked Aïoli

0 from 0 votes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, SideCuisine: SpanishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Smoked Aïoli
  • 8 cloves smoke roasted garlic

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cup grapeseed oil

  • Garlic & Chilli Prawns
  • 25 g butter

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped. Remove seeds if you’re not good with heat

  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 20 large raw king prawns,

  • 1/2 bunch parsley, roughly chopped


  • Smoked Aïoli
  • Squeeze the cloves out of the head of the smoke-roasted garlic and smash till smooth with the back of a fork.
  • Whisk in the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and salt into the mushed garlic.
  • Mix together the oils in a jug and very slowly drizzle the oil into the egg yolk mixture, whisking the entire time. The aïoli is done when all the oil is emulsified, leaving you with a thick, homogenous and glossy sauce. Take your time with this bit. Set aside.
  • Garlic & Chilli Prawns
  • Melt the butter and oil together in a large frying pa. Add the garlic, chilli and paprika and fry on a low heat until golden – around 1-2 minutes. Stir constantly to stop it from burning.
  • Turn up the heat and then add the deveined (see notes) prawns. Fry and toss until the prawns are cooked through – they will turn pink when they’re ready.
  • Remove from the heat and squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice over the prawns, sprinkle with the fresh parsley. Serve immediately.
  • To eat, remove shells with fingers, dip prawns into the smoked aïoli and mop up the juices with hunks of crusty bread.


  • To devein prawns: If the vein isn’t dark, you don’t need to remove it. To remove larger, darker veins, insert a toothpick or skewer between shell segments through the back of the prawn, under and at right angles to vein. Gently pull up on toothpick and lift out vein. If vein breaks, repeat in several place.
  • Add slices of fresh lemon to a bowl of warm water to dip your mucky fingers into as you’re eating. Have an empty bowl to hand for the empty shells.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *