For the best flavor, especially if you’re near a coast, try to purchase fresh prawns with their shells on. Make sure the shells are not broken or slippery and the heads are not discolored. Also, look for shellfish with a fresh saltwater smell and eyes that are prominent and shiny. Fresh prawns are highly perishable, so use them the same day you buy them. If you can’t find fresh prawns, frozen raw prawns are the next best option. Store them in the freezer until it’s time to defrost them in the refrigerator or in cold water.
Skewering each prawn lengthwise will keep them from curling up on the grill and will let them cook evenly. To get nice grill marks without overcooking the prawns, you’ll need to work with a very hot grill, so it’s good to let it heat up for a while first. Adding sugar to the marinade helps to create caramelization and more distinct grill marks.
Note: For an easy side dish, slice 4 whole peaches in half and remove the pits. Brush with oil and grill on both sides for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with the prawns.
- In a small pot, combine the peaches, sugar, chile, salt, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool. Add the oil and stir to combine.
- Place the prawns in a large resealable plastic bag and add the peach glaze. Seal the bag and shake to mix well. Marinate the prawns at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Preheat a grill to high heat.
- Thread 2 prawns onto a skewer and repeat with the rest of the prawns. Grill, pressing down on the prawns slightly to ensure good contact with the grill, for 3 to 5 minutes, turning once, until pink.
Recipe by Kate Kosaya