Recipe: Deep-fried School Prawns with Aioli and Chilli Salt »

from the Australian Fish & Seafood Cookbook

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<i>Australian Fish & Seafood Cookbook</i> by Susman, Huckstep, Hodges & Swan

Australian Fish & Seafood Cookbook by Susman, Huckstep, Hodges & Swan [©Murdoch Books]

Deep-fried School Prawns with Aioli and Chilli Salt from the Australian Fish and Seafood Cookbook


Years in the making,  The Australian Fish & Seafood Cookbook has been written by some of the most respected authorities on seafood in Australia and New Zealand. Neil Perry calls it the 'bible on seafood' and it's easy to see why.

The book contains more than 130 of the best seafood recipes and is brimming with information and step-by-step instructions that will inspire you to try new and different species of fish and seafood and the different ways of cooking them.

Try this recipe to get you started on summer food ideas! 

Deep-fried School Prawns with Aiolo and Chilli Salt – serves 2-4


  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • rice flour, for dusting
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) raw school prawns (shrimp)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped spring onions (scallions) (optional)
  • chilli salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried red chilli (see note page 109)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • aioli
  • 20 g (¾ oz) butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Fish Stock (page 457)
  • 120 g (4¼ oz/½ cup) Mayonnaise (page 455)


To make the chilli salt, mix together the dried red chilli and sea salt. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the mixture roughly and set aside.

To make the aioli, caramelise the garlic by heating a small frying pan over medium–low heat and adding the butter. When the butter melts and begins to froth, add the garlic and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the sugar and keep tossing for 3 minutes, or until the garlic is golden. Add the fish stock, then continue tossing and cooking the garlic for 5–7 minutes, until tender.

In a small bowl, crush the caramelised garlic using the back of a spoon, then stir through the mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate.

Half-fill a medium saucepan (see note) with vegetable oil and place over high heat. Heat the oil to 180°C (350°C)¿– check with an oil thermometer. (For a guide to testing the oil temperature without a thermometer, see note.)

Place the rice flour in a large bowl. Dust the prawns with the flour then carefully drop them into the hot oil. Deep-fry for about 1 minute, until perfectly crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Transfer the prawns to a serving bowl, sprinkle with some of the chilli salt and scatter the spring onions over (if using), then toss well. Serve with the aioli and the remaining chilli salt on the side.


To test the temperature of the hot oil without a thermometer, drop a cube of bread into the saucepan. If the bread turns golden in 15 seconds, the temperature is sitting perfectly on 180°C (350°F). If the bread only takes 10 seconds to turn golden, then the oil is around 190°C (375°F). If it takes 20–30 seconds to brown, the oil is too cold. Be patient and bring the oil to the correct temperature before proceeding.

To deep-fry this quantity of prawns, use a 6 litre (203 floz/ 24 cup) saucepan. Half-fill the pan with oil and heat over high heat. When deep-frying in a saucepan, it’s advisable to keep the oil level a good 10 cm (4 in) below the rim of the pan. The other option for deep-frying is, of course, an electric deep-fryer. The used oil can be strained, cooled and refrigerated for later use.

This image and recipe is from Australian Fish & Seafood Cookbook by Susman, Huckstep, Hodges and Swan with photography by Ben Dearnley. It is published by Murdoch Books (Sydney NSW, Oct 2016; HB, 480pp) and retails in Australia for RRP A$79.99

It is available direct from Murdoch Books here »

Read our review here »

Read the media release here »

Try other recipes from Australian Fish & Seafood Cookbook,

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November 08th, 2016
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