Prawn Cocktail Recipe

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 Updated 09/07/2015

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There was a time when prawn cocktail was considered an unsophisticated 70s dish that had no place in modern cuisine (it may still be considered so by some!). Therefore it may surprise you that I would include this as a Christmas recipe. Well the reason for its inclusion is simple - when I was growing up prawn cocktail was one of my favourite dishes and I always had it as a starter before the Christmas turkey. It was normally served in an avocado half and was the best part of the meal.


  • 1lb fresh or frozen prawns
  • 12oz mayonnaise
  • tomato puree
  • lettuce heart
  • lemon slices
  • chopped parsley
  • a little cayenne pepper
  • black pepper
(see measure conversions for more information on quantites)


  1. Defrost or peel the prawns (if fresh).
  2. Add enough tomato puree to the mayonnaise to colour it deep pink.
  3. Stir the prawns into this mixture and season with a little freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Wash and shred the lettuce and divide it between four attractive dishes or scallop shells.
  5. Spoon the prawn and mayonnaise mix equally onto the lettuce.
  6. Drop a little chopped parsley onto each and a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper.
  7. Take four slices of lemon and cut half way across the diameter of each.
  8. Twist one cut half backwards and one forwards.
  9. Place one lemon twist on top of each prawn cocktail.
  10. Serve with thin brown bread and butter.
  11. The prawn and mayonnaise mixture can also be used to fill half an avocado pear to make another good hors d'oeuvre.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 portions


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