Salt-Roasted Prawns

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  • 3 pounds coarse sea salt, pink salt, or rock salt (or a combination)
  • 4 red finger peppers, split lengthwise, plus thin slices for serving
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and smashed
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 3 pounds shell-on, head-on jumbo shrimp (about 10 per pound), preferably wild, deveined if desired
  • Melted unsalted butter or drawn butter, for serving


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine salt, finger peppers, lemons, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorns in a 3-quart baking dish. Roast until hot and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Spoon two-thirds of salt mixture into a heatproof bowl. Layer shrimp into baking dish, spooning salt mixture from bowl over shrimp in between layers, then sprinkling shrimp with remaining salt mixture.
  2. 2. Roast until shrimp are firm to the touch and just opaque throughout, 13 to 17 minutes. Carefully remove a few lemon wedges; brush off excess salt and squeeze lemon juice into butter, then add pepper slices. Serve shrimp immediately, with butter on the side.


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