The art of a perfect prawn cocktail

The humble prawn cocktail is emerging from its spot as a standard entree to a modern and tasty dish.

The prawn cocktail is making a comeback, with new twists on the old recipe of a few fresh prawns served on a lettuce leaf with seafood sauce. Here are two simple recipes to try.

Prawn cocktail – recipe one


  • 400g cooked prawns (shell on)
  • 4 ‘little gem’ lettuces, washed and trimmed
  • 5 heaped tbsp mayonnaise
  • 5 tbsp tomato chutney
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp creamed horseradish
  • Tiny splash Tabasco sauce
  • Squeeze lemon juice
  • Paprika for dusting
  • 4 tsp snipped chive


  1. Peel all but four of the prawns (reserve these for the tops). Break the lettuce into individual leaves, then divide the leaves evenly between four small glass bowls.
  2. Sprinkle the prawns over the lettuce and season with black pepper.
  3. Mix the mayonnaise, tomato chutney, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish and Tabasco together. Season to taste with lemon juice and salt and pepper, then spoon sparingly over the prawns. Dust the top with a little paprika and sprinkle with chives. Top with the remaining prawns and serve immediately. Delicious with brown bread.

Prawn cocktail – recipe two


  • 1 iceberg lettuce, washed, shredded
  • 600g cooked school prawns, peeled

Cocktail sauce ingredients:

  • 60ml (1/4 cup) tomato sauce
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) thin cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash of red Tabasco pepper sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the cocktail sauce, combine the tomato sauce, cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco in a small bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the lettuce in four serving dishes/glasses. Top with the prawns and drizzle with the cocktail sauce. Serve immediately.