Sticky Sesame Prawns

, from Issue #40. May, 2016
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Sticky Sesame Prawns


16 extra-large raw prawns, peeled
¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ cup melted butter
2 tablespoons kecap manis
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 clove garlic, crushed

To cook
32 x 9 cm two pronged bamboo skewers
canola oil
lime wedges to serve


Cut the prawns in half lengthwise as if to butterfly them, but cut all the way through to make two pieces. Form into a snail and thread onto the skewers.

Sauce: Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until thick and glossy. Don’t let it catch and burn on the base of the pan. Set aside but reheat if making ahead of time as the butter will solidify on cooling.

To cook: Heat a little olive oil in a large sauté pan or on a barbecue hot plate. Season the prawns and cook over a high heat until just cooked through. Dip each prawn in the warm sauce until well coated then hold them over a separate plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place on a serving platter and serve with lime wedges. Makes 32 skewers

Pantry note: Kecap manis – (also Kecap/Ketjap Manis). Pronounced KETCH-up MAH-niss) this sweetish, thick soy sauce is made with palm sugar and seasoned with star anise and garlic. A popular ingredient for Indonesian cooks; it is used as a condiment or as a substitute for dark soy sauce.

Cooks tip: I served the prawn skewers on small squares of banana leaves that I had wiped with a little vegetable oil to give them a glossy sheen.