Prawn cocktail is a retro classic, much maligned over the years it also brings back fond memories for many of us and can be a really excellent dish. As with so many classic recipes there are many different “authentic” versions with many different ingredient variations. Regardless of the many different combinations the key element that will deliver great flavour is the prawns themselves. You will find and excellent selection in our shops.

A prawn cocktail needs classic marie rose or cocktail sauce which at its most basic is a blend of mayonnaise, tomato and lemon juice in our recipe below there are a few extra ingredients to add a little more spice and depth – you can adjust to your own preference.

Prep time will be about 15 minutes. Ingredient quantities below will serve 4 people

Prawn Cocktail Ingredients

200g cooked, shelled prawns from Walter Purkis & Sons
1 baby gem lettuce, shredded and a few leaves left whole
Juice 1 lemon
Parsley sprigs, to garnish
150g piece of cucumber
1 ripe avocado

For the dressing

8 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco, to taste
2 tsp lemon juice
1tsp smoked paprika
1tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Prawn Cocktail Cooking Method

The very best version of this is made with prawns (either fresh or frozen in their shells) that you have cooked yourself. Cook the prawns in a dry frying pan until pink all over. Allow to cool, then remove the shells and de-vein all but 4 (which you can set aside to use as decoration later). If you are using frozen cooked prawns in their shells put them in a colander and allow to defrost thoroughly at room temperature for about 1 hour before peeling. Place the peeled prawns in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge until needed.

To make the sauce put the mayonnaise in a bowl and whisk then add the other ingredients and then taste. You can add more of any ingredient to match your own preferences. Keep in mind that you will get the best result if you don’t overpower the prawn flavours.

Peel and dice the avocado and the cucumber, shred the lettuce (reserve a few whole outer leaves to decorate) mic them together. You are now ready to assemble the dish portion evenly  in your chosen glass, bowl or plate. Now  mix the prawns with the sauce, season with salt and pepper and share out on top of the salad mix. Garnish with the whole prawns and lettuce leaf along with a little sprinkle of smoked paprika and chopped parsley. Serve right away.