I know it seems early and we haven’t even had Easter yet, but I’m already thinking about a Mother’s Day dinner menu, and this is the starter.

Throwing a prawn on the barbie is synonymous with an Aussie Summer but grilled prawns (aka grilled shrimp) are loved the world over. They’re not only tasty but also such a simple dinner or lunch option

A white plate with prawns, salad and a bowl of yoghurt.

This whole meal came together in 45 minutes and that includes peeling the prawns. What I love about making these Honey Grilled Prawns and Chorizo Dukkah as part of a dinner party menu is that so many of the steps can be done ahead of time, leaving you just to grill the prawns before serving and grilling in itself can be very social.

Keep an eye out for the Mothers Day Dinner Party roundup coming up soon.

In it you will find, every recipe you need plus some substitutions for each course. The roundup will include a sneaky little drink recipe to have with it and some ideas for how to make it a gorgeous dinner party to remember.

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These skewered prawns are simply seasoned with some salt and pepper before grilling, then basted in the most amazing saffron and honey sauce right before you take them off.

They’re served with a chorizo dukkah and what I love about this, aside from the amazing flavour in that dukkah, is that being served on skewers means no mess and no cutlery to wash up.

A bowl of honey spiked Greek yoghurt is the perfect glue for the dukkah, to round out this speedy dish with a Mediterranean vibe.

A birdseye view of prawns and salad on a white plate with yoghurt and dukkah.

Serving options

You can serve these grilled prawns as I have here with a light salad on individual serving plates – this way they can be more of a meal you could serve during the week too.

You could also serve them in the middle of the table with a bowl of the dukkah and bowl of the honey spiked yoghurt so everyone can just dig in. This means they’re great as party finger food or game day snacks too.

What is Dukkah?

Authentic Dukkah is an Egyptian blend of dry ingredients including nuts, seeds and spices. These are blended to a crumb consistency and eaten by dunking a piece of bread into olive oil and then into the dukkah so the spice mix sticks.

Taking only around 10 minutes to make, Dukkah is a quick and delicious snack, with oil and bread. The Chorizo Dukkah in this recipe gives a bit of Spanish kick to the traditionally Egyptian blend and a total flavour explosion.

How to make Dukkah

Dukkah is super simple to make but the crucial step you must not skip is to dry roast the ingredients first. This brings out the oils in them and makes the dukkah fragrant and gives it a much better flavour.

2 photos: A large frying pan browning nuts, seeds and spices for dukkah

First, toast all of the nuts, seeds and spices in a dry pan over medium heat (photo 1). It should take around 3-4 minutes for the spices to start releasing their aroma and to turn golden (photo 2) but keep an eye on it so they don’t burn.

Transfer the spices straight to a spice grinder, blender or processor (options by order of best) and process them to a crumb consistency.

2 photos: A large frying pan with finely chopped chorizo, bread crumbs are added.

Next, in the same pan and over medium heat again, cook the chorizo (photo3) stirring until it’s cooked and golden. Add the bread crumbs (photo 4) and continue to cook it stirring until the whole mixture is a nice golden colour (photo 5). The chorizo should be quite crispy by this point.

2 photos: chorizo dukkah in a sautee pan, and then in a bowl

Mix the spice blend with the chorizo and bread crumbs and tip straight into a serving dish (photo 6). Store this in the fridge.

How to prepare prawns

I always find that raw prawns with the shell intact will give the best texture and flavour once cooked, so I beg you to buy them that way.

They’re very simple to prepare. Grab the base of the head with your thumb and forefinger and give it a twist to pull it off. Now, place your thumb where the legs are and tear the shell upwards and over to remove it bit by bit.

Leaving the tails intact looks nice for this recipe but you can certainly remove that too.

To remove the digestive tract (called deveining), look for the end of it hanging out of the end where the head was. Grab it gently with your thumb and forefinger and pull gently, it should slowly release and come out in one part.

If you prefer, use a knife to cut a thin slit along the back of the prawn and scrape it out that way.

Now you can thread them onto your skewers. You could place 2 or 3 prawns per skewer by curling them or you could do 1 prawn per skewer like in these photos.

Image showing how to thread prawns onto wooden skewers

To do them the second way, slip the skewer up the middle of the prawn, starting between the two flaps of the tail (photo 7).

For the Saffron Honey Sauce

Have you ever tried saffron? It’s all at once intense and subtle and adds such an unmistakeable flavour. You may have tried it if you’ve had Paella. This sauce cannot get much simpler. Add the saffron threads to the boiling water and let them infuse for 5 minutes (photo 8). Now mix that straight into the honey (photo 9). Done.

2 photos showing Saffron Honey sauce

How to grill prawns

The prawns are so simple to grill and there is no need for any kind of marinade. Once they’re all threaded onto the skewers (or you could do them without the skewers altogether), season them with salt and pepper and rub a little oil over them.

You can either grill them on a barbecue grill plate, in the oven under the grill or boiler or in a dry frying pan. If you do them on the barbecue, you will need to move them to a solid plate before adding the sauce.

I use a large frying pan and do thirty prawns in two batches. Place them in an even layer over the frying pan, you can use a piece of foil to sit the ends of the skewers on so they don’t burn. Turn them ever 20 – 30 seconds until almost entirely opaque and cooked through.

With about 30 seconds to go, pour the sauce just over the prawns, leave them for 10 seconds, then turn the heat off and turn them all in the sauce. It’s important not to get the sauce on the skewers as it will be sticky and molten hot – not pleasant to hold.

 

A plate of prawns with one being dipped into dukkah.

Make Ahead

These Honey Grilled Prawns are great party food as so much can be done the day before to make party day simple and allowing you to spend time with your guests.

  • Chorizo Dukkah – While this only takes 10-15 minutes to make, it can be made entirely the day before (even 2). Store it in an airtight container or a plastic wrap covered dish, in the fridge. Take it out of the fridge about ½ an hour before serving so that it isn’t cold.
  • Saffron Honey Sauce – Again, this takes mere minutes but it can be made entirely the day before serving and stored in an airtight container or a plastic wrap covered dish.
  • The Grilled Prawns – These can be shelled, deveined and skewered the day before. Store them, covered in the fridge overnight. Season and grill right before serving.
  • Simple serving – To make serving even simpler, just serve each item in the middle of the table for everyone to dip into.

Substitutions

  • Yoghurt – this is a totally optional side and is not necessary for the dukkah to stick to the prawns if you’d prefer to serve it without. You could make more honey sauce if you wanted to add a little moisture but leave out the yoghurt.
  • Dukkah – I used pistachios in this dukkah but you could use any nuts your prefer. Also, if you like a bit of spice, add a little chilli powder to the dukkah too.
  • Saffron – Don’t like it? Leave it out, no problem. If you want to replace it with something, some lemon would work very nicely.
  • The prawns – Don’t want prawns? Try strips of chicken or lamb instead.

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A white plate with prawns, salad and a bowl of yoghurt.

If you’re looking for delicious, simple party food or even a tasty but easy weeknight dinner this has to be on the list. Perfectly grilled prawns, glazed with saffron honey sauce and dipped in a crunchy Chorizo Dukkah is the perfect start or meal.

More recipes in this menu 

Prawns on a bed of salad with a bowl of yoghurt.

Honey Grilled Prawns with Chorizo Dukkah

5 from 5 votes
These Honey Grilled Prawns are a simple and light recipe, perfect for a lunch or even a starter to a Spring dinner party. It’s an easy grilled prawn recipe, served with a flavourful homemade chorizo dukkah.

Ingredients

FOR THE DUKKAH

  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds (notes)
  • 1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds (notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 100 g chorizo, processed to fine crumbs
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

THE SAUCE

  • 1 tablespoon boiling water (notes)
  • 10 saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups greek yoghurt (optional)

THE GRILLED PRAWNS

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 30 raw large king prawns
  • 30 wooden skewers

Instructions
 

  • Start by soaking the wooden skewers in water.

FOR THE DUKKAH

  • In a dry pan, toast the pistachios, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds over medium heat, stirring regularly until the sesame seeds are golden and it is smelling aromatic.
  • Process the nuts and spices to fine crumbs in a food processor or spice grinder then mix in the salt and pepper.
  • In the same pan, saute the chorizo crumbs, stirring regularly until starting to turn golden brown. Add the breadcrumbs and continue to stir and toast for a further minute or so until the crumbs are also golden. Stir this through the nut and spice mixture. Set aside

FOR THE HONEY SAFFRON SAUCE

  • Mix together the boiling water and saffron and let it infuse for 5 minutes before stirring both the saffron and water into the honey.
  • Spoon the yoghurt into 6 small bowls and drizzle a little of the honey over each.

FOR THE PRAWNS

  • Remove the heads and shells from the prawns, leaving just the tail intact. Remove the vein that runs down the back.
  • Now poke a skewer through the centre of each, starting between the two wings of the tail and pushing up through the middle of the prawn all the way to the top.
  • Rub the oil over the prawns then season with the salt and pepper.
  • Grill the prawns in a large pan or on a grill pan (notes), turning them every 30 seconds or so. 
  • As soon as the prawns are just cooked, turn the heat off and drizzle over the remaining honey mixture. Turn the prawns to coat well. 
  • Serve the prawns on a bed of salad, with the dukkah to one side and the yoghurt in a small bowl. Drizzle any leftover honey over the top of the prawns.

Notes

  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equiv. 4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. Raw prawns with shells intact will result in the best flavour.
  3. I use a flat pan on the stove or a pan with grill ridges. If you're using a BBQ grill with holes in it, make sure to move the prawns to a dish or flat surface before pouring over the honey.
  4. You can substitute any nuts for the pistachios

MAKE AHEAD 

  • You can remove the shells, devein and skewer the prawns the day before, then store them on a plate covered in plastic wrap in the fridge.
  • The Saffron Honey Sauce can be made a day ahead.
  • The Chorizo Dukkah can be made a day ahead. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
  • Before cooking the prawns, set up the plates with a little pot of yoghurt on each and some salad. I like to use cucumber, snow pea sprouts and a little white onion or spring onions.

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A dukkah crust prawn sitting on top of a bowl of yoghurt.