Chili Garlic King Prawns

Last night I was at a local Asian grocery store. It is a huge supermarket with a great selection of many items that are rarely found in a typical grocery store. They have a wonderful seafood department and sell lots of live fish and crustaceans.

I was looking at their live dungeness crab and considered buying it to make some Singapore chili crab. I looked over at another tank and saw these live king prawns. They were huge and looked gorgeous. They were immediately in my shopping cart and I had a huge smile on my face.

There was going to be some good eating in the near future.

This recipe is simple and it highlights the wonderful buttery flavour of the prawn. If you have never had a king prawn before, they are almost like a cross between shrimp and lobster. They are tender and rich and go so well with the chili and garlic they are sauteed in.

These were cooked in a skillet on fairly high heat.

Saute the aromatics in oil for a few minutes, then add these prawns. Cook them for 2-3 minutes per side. Since they are fairly large, you want to make sure that they are flat and the side is fully touching the bottom of the hot skillet.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Author Steve Cylka


  • 1 pound fresh whole king prawns
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 6 garlic cloves , minced
  • 4-8 Thai chilis , minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro


  • Heat the oil, garlic and Thai chilies in a skillet on low for about 3 minutes.
  • Raise the heat to high.
  • Once you hear the oil begin to sizzle, add the prawns. Make sure that each prawn is able to lie down flat in the skillet. It may be necessary to cook the prawns in two batches.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes, flip and cook another 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro.

About Steve Cylka

Steve is the author of The Black Peppercorn. He is a recipe developer and food photographer. His recipes have been featured on websites like Bradley Smoker, Times Picayune, Buzzfeed, and Basil & Salt. He has also authored and co-authored a couple cookbooks.


  1. Oh man, now I’m hungry! Shrimp, prawns or crawfish would have to be one of my top favorite foods!

  2. Well your asian grocer sound like it would be a great place to go. The one we used to frequent in Dallas only had big tanks of catfish, so I would definitely have taken full advantage if I had seen those wonderful prawns.
    Also, a light saute is probably the best way to go with these-they have such wonderful flavor on their own. Enjoy your prawn feast-yum!

  3. Mmmm, looks fantastic! I love prawns, and anything spicy is a nice way to prepare them πŸ™‚

  4. Steve, those prawns are gorgeous–this looks like it belongs in a restaurant!

  5. Those look Fan-tabulous!! Would love to have a plate of those right now.

  6. these look fabulous, sounds like the perfect way to use these beautiful prawns…awesome job!

  7. This looks like a restaurant dish … well done πŸ™‚

  8. Those look wonderful…now do you peel them completely before eating?

  9. I love prawns. Looks fab! Buzzed.

  10. You make me crave for Singapore chili crab:) But those prawns loo delicious too!!

  11. Oh, man… these look great. Wish there was a place to get fresh seafood up here.

  12. I made this for dinner tonight, it came together so quick and everyone loved it! Including Mr. Picky 4 year old that won’t eat anything besides hash browns and chicken nuggets. Thanks for a great recipe!!

  13. A simple recipe with just enough spice to enhance the prawns.

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