Don’t come the raw prawn with me.

Prawns, coriander, lime, garlic and a twist of black pepper. For once, I got all the ingredients into the picture.

I remember as a young fellow being slightly flexible with the truth and having my late Dad pull me up on it with “Don’t come the raw prawn with me.”  It seemed like a bizarre expression then and still seems like it now, over 40 years later. While I was thinking about an ‘angle’ for this simple barbecue recipe, the expression popped back into my head. That got me looking it up on Google. That took me to the Australian National University and their Meanings and origins of Australian words and idioms. There are some cracking expressions with which the Australians have enriched our language. Read on, Cobber

Given that the weather has been as dry as a pommie’s towel, I’m not going to give you the rough end of the pineapple here. You will need very little help with this simple, 4 ingredient dish. It is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to turn your raw prawns into a delicious feast. You can take it straight to the poolroom. The dish is Barbecued Prawns with Lime, Coriander and Garlic. The only additional ingredient you will need is a twist or two of black pepper. Some bamboo skewers will be a help too and that’s the dinkum oil.

So, rattle your dags (You just have to look that one up!) and buy prawns that are deveined but still have their shells on. This saves a load of messing around. Soak the skewers in water to stop them burning when on the barbie. Chop the garlic and coriander. Squeeze the lime into a bowl. Add the garlic, coriander and prawns. Toss them to cover and put them in the fridge for an hour or so.

I made this up because I had the ingredients. Seemed like a good reason to me.

Take them out and skewer them. I like to double up on the skewers because it makes them easier to turn on the barbie.

Tempted to eat them raw? That might be a mistake…

Two skewers per serving. Easy to turn them on the Barbie. They look cool too.

Get the barbecue hot and then turn it down to minimum.

Don’t complain about too many pictures in the post. This is the gratuitous prawn shot.

Chuck the prawns on the barbie. Enjoy a glass of plonk while they cook.

I love it when I manage to capture the smoke in the picture.

Turn them when they are nearly cooked. You will be tempted to eat them all yourself but give everybody fair suck of the sauce bottle.

It was starting to get a little dark when I took this picture. I’m sure it was bright in Oz.

I’m no wowser, but this is one excellent dish. Thank you Australia, you’re the full bottle.

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Latest comments
  • Fun,fun post since I like language as much as food! Thanks. Watch for my followup to this post with my own that you’ve sparked!

    • Thanks Flori, I hope I don’t offend any of our Australian friends but the language history is really entertaining. I will be looking out for your post.

  • “Lard die in jumpins” those prawns look good!

    • Ha! My youngest is off to Newfoundland (Memorial University in St. Johns) later in the year. Great expression.

      • Newfoundland is a fabulous place to be with the most friendliest people I have ever encountered. I came all the way from India to go to MUN and stayed for good. He will be ‘havin’ a time’…I know I did. MUN is a great choice.

  • yummy! great photos!

  • Love the gratuitous prawn shot 🙂 Would have expected you to use charcoal on the barbie, but perhaps not because those are a no no in Oz because of the bushfires!
    I make the same, minus coriander but with red pepper flakes.
    Also, would recommend viognier rather than just any plonk!

    • Plonk is part of the language thing. Thought to come from a bastardisation of Vin Blanc. I try to avoid plonk (as we think of it) as a rule.

      • I loved the language bits in your post! Didn’t know plonk came from Vin Blanc. My Australian friends explained plonk to me, and I avoid it too! Isn’t there some nice Aussie word for more decent wine? 😉

  • Re: dry towels. When we went to Tenerife last year I made sure we had the best spot by arriving at the pool at 6.30 in the morning. But it wasn’t the Germans I had to worry about though. Oh no. It was the Russians. They are a dangerous poolside foe. They were there in force. With tattoos. And money, an awful lot of money.

    • They seem to have lots and lots of cash for some reason. Perhaps they are all in cash businesses like busking or rose selling or genuine Rolex selling in restaurants in Spain? Or is it something else?

      • I can think of a few things but I’d better be careful. One of them was sailing down the North Sea the other but turned round…

  • Mouthwatering as always Conor! I am impressed with your father’s knowledge of arcane Australian argot, though it is highly probable that the phrase originated entirely from the Barry McKenzie cartoon strip that ran in Private Eye in the ’60s, written by Barry (Dame Edna) Humphries and drawn by Nicholas Garland. These were the strips that popularized the string of expressions that includes: “Technicolor Yawn”, “Wife’s Best Friend” (To shake hands with), “Pyjama Python”, “Chunder” and many more. I have the two published collections of the said strip and I treasure them. The foregoing verse from the Bondi Drinking Song from those books will, perhaps, illustrate the provenance of the ‘raw prawn’ phrase:

    “I was down on Bondi Pier
    Drinking cans of icecold beer
    with a plate of uncooked prawns upon my knee,
    When I’d swallowed the last prawn
    I’d a technicolour yawn
    And I chundered in the old pacific sea”

    And so it goes on. I am away until mid July but look forward to rescheduling our erstwhile lunch plans – if you forgive me for this posting, that is ….

    • I love it. Barry H is a comic genius. You have come through as ‘Anonymous. I am racking my brain to think who knows australian culture so well and to whom I owe a lunch. Help!

      • I have no idea why I came through as anonymous Conor and I believe the lunch was on me. This is Denis Goodbody on one of his rare visits to Google+

  • Ah Conor, you know how I like skewered prawns on the grill. Yours look terrific!

    • I had composed this before your beautiful post, honest. They are so tasty from the grill. I have a Dublin Bay Prawn in Black Bean Sauce post coming up soon. We enjoyed it a couple of weeks ago.

      • I think the more prawn recipes the better and I’m looking forward to your next one.

  • They look divine! Beautiful photography, and the recipe too! Btw, how do you manage to keep your grill so neat!

    • Manual labour – a wire brush and a lot of time. I tend to burn off the stuff I should have burned off the last time I used it and then attack it with the wire brush. There is no other way, I am afraid.

  • If I could only get my husband to eat prawns…This looks great, and I will have to try this one when my husband goes to visit his mom!

  • What a RIPPER of a recipe. BONZA stuff!

  • Lovely, feels like a mystery ingredient basket and we have to figure out the recipe! Love those prawns and the simplicity of the rest of the ingredients allow the prawns to shine in all their sweet glory!



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