Prawns in beer

June 18, 2008 (Last Updated: January 11, 2019)
Prawns in beer recipe

I found this recipe for prawns in beer at The Radium Beer Hall in Johannesburg and I love it. Thank you to Manuel, and to Artemis for managing to pass the recipe on to me. Manny says to use a good, fairly strong beer with character because that’s what will end up on your plate. A couple of tablespoons of cream bubbled in at the end is very good. Or you could take it in an entirely different direction with a squeeze of lemon and a handful of chopped coriander, parsley or even dried basil (as Manny often uses). 

Prawns in beer

Serves: 4 – 6


  • 1kg large raw prawns
  • 100g butter
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • a pinch of ground piri piri
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 185ml beer



Leave the shells on the prawns but cut down the back of each one and devein so they take in the flavour of the sauce. Rinse well. Heat half the butter in a deep frying pan. When it sizzles, add a layer of prawns, pressing them down well so they are butterflied and become golden brown and crisp. If there isn’t room for them all in your pan, remove them as they’re cooked to make space for the rest. Don’t overcook them or they’ll lose their succulence.


When all the prawns are cooked, add the paprika, piri piri, salt and black pepper to the pan. Cook for a bit, then add the garlic and the rest of the butter. When you can smell the garlic, remove the prawns to a plate. Pour the beer into the pan and increase the heat to high so that it bubbles and thickens. Return the prawns to the pan. Put the lid on and rock the pan from side to side to coat the prawns with hot sauce. Serve with crusty bread or chips to dip in the sauce. And a glass of cold beer…


To drink: Simonsig Sauvignon Blanc.

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