Sweet Chilli Prawns

I think growing up on an island has something to do with my love of seafood.  My mum used to get seafood directly from the local fishermens because it’s cheaper and most importantly, fresher. Unfortunately this is something I haven’t been able to achieve over here, especially residing in an inland regional area. Having said that, this doesn’t stop me from splurging on  supermarket seafood every now and then. The quality may not be the same but with a little external help from seasonings, it is good enough to satisfy my seafood crave.  The best part is it doesn’t take long to make. :)

I love my prawns with a lot of flavours, knowingly, most seafood connoisseurs would shake their heads in disapproval. Don’t get me wrong, I love boiled prawns with a good dipping sauce! But when it comes to supermarket prawns, don’t you think they need extra care to compensate the lack of freshness as compared to the ones from the fishmongers?  The sweet chilli version is what I make almost all the time when there are prawns in the house. I just couldn’t get enough of the tiny bit of sauce which goes superbly well with steamed rice.

So what is your favourite prawn dish?  (Feel free to link your prawn recipe in the comment section.)

Sweet Chilli Prawns

(A Fuss Free Cooking recipe)

Serves 2

(Side note: When it comes to prawns, I always insist on shell-on prawns. The idea of peeling the shell using your fingers can be messy and perhaps, not something you would eat on a date night. But if you are a serious prawn-muncher like myself, the pleasure of licking (okay… sucking) the sauce off the shell before undressing them is heavenly.)


  • 500g / 18 oz shell-on prawns
  • About 4 small garlic cloves
  • 2 bird eyes chillies (*optional)
  • 2 stalks spring onions
  • 1/4 cup Thai sweet chilli sauce
  • 3/4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 drops of sesame oil


  • Mix sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil in a bowl / measuring cup. Set aside.

  • Roughly chopped garlic, slice spring onions diagonally  and red chillies if you decide to use some. Set aside.


  • Trim the prawns to your liking. What I usually do with mine are removing their heads and swimming legs (as best as you can without removing the shell in the process) and using a sharp knife to slice abodominal segments in order to devein. If this step is too daunting for you, there’s no judgement if you use peeled prawns. :P

  • Heat 2 tbsps of cooking oil in a wok, use less oil if you are using a non-stick pan. When the oil is hot, on medium flame, add garlic, chillies and HALF of the spring onions. Saute until aromatic (meaning you can smell the garlic and spring onion in the air).

  • Add in the prawns. Let them cook on one side and when the cook side down is slightly charred and turning orange, flip the prawns to the other side. I try not to toss and turn the prawns too much to avoid the loss of moisture.

  • When the prawns are almost cooked, add the sauce mixture and stir to combine. Do this over low heat to minimise the risk of burning the sauce.

  • Once prawns and sauce mixture is well combined, turn up the heat to medium and quickly toss the ingredient around (should last a couple of seconds). When you notice the sauce thickens and start to caramelize, switch off the flame and add in the REMAINING spring onions. Toss to combine everything.
  • Serve immediately with rice.


23 Responses to Sweet Chilli Prawns
  1. Adora's Box
    May 16, 2011 | 11:38 am

    Simple, quick and very, very delicious. What more could one ask for? Prawns are just the best.

    • Emily
      May 16, 2011 | 12:47 pm

      I totally agree with you! :) Wouldn’t mind to have them all the time, lol.

  2. Peggy
    May 16, 2011 | 12:04 pm

    I just love the sauce that accompanies these prawns! I wish I was licking it off my fingers right now! =)

    • Emily
      May 16, 2011 | 12:50 pm

      Glad that you feel the urge, hehe! I completely lost my ladylike and table manners when it comes to this dish…lol or any prawn dishes really!

  3. Roxan
    May 16, 2011 | 2:32 pm

    Wow, it must have been so nice to get seafood directly from the fisherman! I don’t think i’ve ever had seafood that fresh before.
    And about shell-on prawns… it was just recently that I am able to peel my own shrimp and prawns! It always grossed me out. Especially pulling the legs off, ewww. I’m still queasy about it but now I’ll just suck it up and do it.

  4. Ana Powell
    May 16, 2011 | 7:03 pm

    I could have all the time too.
    Lovely and very flavoursome prawn dish.
    Great clicks too ♥

  5. Charissa
    May 17, 2011 | 3:15 am

    Sweet chili is so delish…and what a great, low fat source of protein! Yup. I’m inspired.

  6. A Little Yumminess
    May 17, 2011 | 4:04 am

    What an awesome recipe! And so easy as well!

  7. Reese@SeasonwithSpice
    May 18, 2011 | 11:29 am

    I love my prawns with a lot of flavours as well. Shells-on always help to retain the seasonings and tenderness of the prawns. Sweet & spicy – yummy!

  8. Rumana Rawat
    May 18, 2011 | 12:55 pm

    Superb looking dish:)

  9. The Travelling Chopsticks
    May 18, 2011 | 4:39 pm

    This is my kind of cooking! Quick, easy and delicious. I too grew up on an island with abundance of seafood and really miss the fresh quality. Am now living in Mexico city…which basically lies in a basin hours away from the coastline…and the seafood you get in the supermarket is less than satisfactory. But I always have frozen prawns in the fridge…I will be having this for dinner tonight :) Thank you!

  10. cooking rookie
    May 18, 2011 | 6:31 pm

    Bautiful photo,so juicy, so yummy!

  11. Ling
    May 19, 2011 | 3:39 am

    Great display of the cooked prawns! The fresher the seafood the better

  12. Junia @ Mis Pensamientos
    May 19, 2011 | 6:54 pm

    congrats on top 9!! :) you are so lucky to have lived in so many different places~~~

  13. Blair James
    May 20, 2011 | 3:03 pm

    Totally mouth-watering!

    You made my day 100% better. I am definitely doing the dish this weekend. It’s all I needed to make my weekend complete.

    Thanks again for sharing the recipe.

  14. Hanim
    May 23, 2011 | 8:40 am

    Hi Emilie, would you mind if i share your recipe and link in my blog with a big Credits to you ? Many thanks

    • Emily
      May 23, 2011 | 9:23 am

      No I don’t mind at all! Thanks for the link! :)

  15. Hanim
    May 23, 2011 | 8:41 am

    Oopss i wrongly spell your name..sorry!

  16. Jenn Brigole
    May 24, 2011 | 8:39 pm

    Amazing dish you have here, Emily. I, too, love my shrimps shell on but most of the time, I prefer with the head on too. There’s just so much flavor in there that I’d hate for it to go to waste. But I understand that some take it to a challenge when they don’t want to cut their tongue or lips while sucking the head. :)

    • Emily
      May 24, 2011 | 10:10 pm

      Hi Jenn,
      I totally get you. I actually love the heads too! But my partner is terrified with the idea of breaking their necks and sucking the delicious juice out…haha! Therefore as a compromise, I keep the shell intact minus the heads. :P

  17. Nihara
    October 12, 2011 | 10:15 am


    I just cooked this dish. Wow!! I must say…. delicious!!! Not to forget so easy, specially for a person like me….”Can’t cook” LOL.

    Thanks sooooo much for posting this recepi.

  18. Mile-Z mate
    June 25, 2014 | 9:55 am

    Crikey mate- this one is a cracker. All the way down under in Western Australia, this recipe has made its way to my wok tonight. I’m loving the sweet chilli flavours with my prawns. Takes me back to Koh Samui, Thailand. I doubled the mix, and added a tablespoon of fish sauce. Bonza! Thanks heaps I shared it on Facebook, hope more ppl get onto it quick smart and easy- no fuss.

    • Emily
      July 1, 2014 | 8:38 am

      Happy to hear you liked the recipe mate! ;)
      Emily x

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