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  • Writer's pictureChef Dylan


These spicy, southern-style king prawns charred nicely on the barbeque with a zesty lime mayonnaise, are the easy way to add some soulful seafood to this year’s entertaining.

Having seafood at Christmas time has become a family tradition for many of us, just like mangoes and cherries, and for a lot of us prawns are high on the list and are by far one of my favourite ingredients to use. The abundance at this time of year means you can get them fresh and they take on flavour well. Head straight to your local seafood guy and ask for Mooloolaba king prawns. They are large and are perfect for this dish. Fresh banana prawns or tiger prawns will also work.

Did you know? The ancient tradition of eating fish on Christmas Eve is thought to have come from the Roman Catholic custom of abstinence from meat and dairy products on the eve of certain holidays, including Christmas. After the 16th century in Britain however, the seafood meal associated with Christmas Eve as a traditional Catholic fast day had totally declined, and the festival became a decidedly meat-oriented affair. Be assured, fish had no defined role in the menus destined for a Christmas feast the British brought with them to Australia, but rather it was roast fowl, beef and ham which dominated Christmas tables for almost 200 years.

Noticeable change did not begin to be seen until the early 1980s; it started to really gather some pace in the 1990s, as an Australian culinary identity developed, increasing in confidence which embraced new flavours. Also, the influx of post-war migrants, especially from the Mediterranean, helped shape change, too. Bringing not just their love and delight of seafood-filled traditional food, but which also taught us lessons in the art of cooking and eating al-fresco and outdoors.

Chef Dylan tip: It's important to ensure that the prawns are fresh, so whilst at the fishmonger, be sure to look at the head of the prawn for signs of any black stains; if that’s all clear, then simply ask the fishmonger if you can have a quick smell of one. Don’t worry, you won’t look silly, you are not the only person who likes fresh seafood, which means they get asked all the time. Moreover, the fishmonger will admire your dedication to fresh produce. Prawns should smell slightly sweet and remind you of a day by the beach. As always, trust your instincts.

Mount Tamborine Christmas 2017

“Ok, so what do I need to do to these prawns?” says my brother, Ryan, while looking at me lightheartedly. “You just need to peel 'em like this,” I say, as I pick a large prawn the size of a small lobster. “Pull the head off like this, then pull away the shell and feet so as to twist off whilst leaving tail on”. “Easy as, my brother.” He quickly peels one “Like that? Good?”. “Perfect” I say as I rest my hand on his tall frame. “We are just going to marinate them in some of my Creole and finish them on the grill.” “These are going to be demolished; I’m so looking forward to enjoying a few of these.” says Ryan. “I’m also really glad that Pop and Nan have made the trip up this year with Dad and Kerry. “Me too.” I add.

“This year has absolutely flown by for me and another Christmas has come round. So fast! It’s like each year it is getting quicker and quicker”. “It’s like that for me too!”. “Take a look at Pop: if we think, he is in his 80s now. I can’t help but think about the fact that someday I might be that old and it kinda scares me how little time we actually get”. “Me too mate, but if I get to 80 and can move around like Pop and be just as witty, it also excites me, because imagine the times we are going to have as a family as we get older.” "Yeah agreed. Totally and it’s strange, but have you noticed how ever since we all did the Camino together, we are way more fully bonded as a family somehow. It’s like we were able to speak about things and really get some things off our plate.”

“Yeah bro, and I could go on with you for hours, but speaking of time right know, we’ve got to get this Christmas lunch organised. Because a little elf told me Santa is coming for lunch today and might I say he's a VIP”.

PREP TIME: 20 mins




  • 16 king prawns, peeled deveined and butterflied

  • 2 tbs CREOLE

  • 3 tbs oil

  • Zest of 1 lime

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 8 tbs whole egg mayonnaise

  • 1 lemon, sliced into wedges


  1. In a large bowl big enough to hold all the prawns mix the Creole marinade with oil and coat prawns evenly.

  2. Leave to marinate for ~20 mins.

  3. To make the mayonnaise dipping sauce simply add the whole egg mayonnaise, the zest and the lime juice to a bowl and mix until combined.

  4. Heat the BBQ grill to high until the grill is nice and hot. Turn down to medium heat and then cook prawns on one side until opaque, a few minutes or so.

  5. Turn with some tongs to continue to cook for another minute or so until just cooked.


Serve with the dipping sauce and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


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