2 egg yolks separated into a bowl

200ml of oil (Rapeseed, sunflower or vegetable but NOT olive oil)

180-200g pack of cooked and shelled king prawns

4 teaspoons of white wine vinegar

1 dessert spoon of tomato ketchup

6 or 7 drops of Tabasco

1 teaspoon of English mustard

2 large cos (romaine) lettuce leaves

Smoked paprika to dust (optional)


Prawn cocktail

preparation 2 mins • you cook for 15 mins •

Serves 2

Watch a 30 second preview of my cook-along video below

If you cannot view the video below, click here to download QuickTime from Apple's website.


Prawn cocktail is one of those dishes that has stood the test of time and is still on many menus. Twenty years ago it would consist of tiny prawns sitting on a vast bed of lettuce in a frosted goblet with a slice of lemon wedged over the side. My version brings it up to date and has a bit of a bite to it using Tabasco. You'll also learn how to make your own creamy homemade mayonnaise! Fun and delicious this is simple food at it's best.

Small bowl for the egg yolks

Small bowl to make the prawn cocktail sauce

Damp tea towel to put the bowl on whilst whisking (Stop the bowl moving)

Electric whisk


Dessert spoon



Before you start have your egg yolks in a small bowl, all your other ingredients out, your whisk plugged in and click here!


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Firstly you need to make some mayonnaise. Have the egg yolks in a bowl with your whisk and oil ready. Whisk the yolks briefly to mix together. Add in the oil just drop by drop to start with, whisking it in each time. It's really important to add only tiny drops to start with as this will result in a nice thick mayo. The first 10 drops should be tiny, then the next 10 can be slightly bigger and so on until you've added about half of the oil. The consistency at this stage should resemble a thick sauce.

Carry on adding the oil a little at a time but you can increase the amount to about a teaspoon at a time. Whisk after each addition of oil. By the time that you have added almost all the oil, the mayo should be thicker than a sauce and sticking to the whisk.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with your spatula and add in the white wine vinegar and mustard. Whisk these in then continue to whisk in the oil a teaspoon at a time. Once you've used all the oil, scrape down the sides once more and add a pinch of salt. A little trick is to add some water at this stage but the amount depends on how your mayo is looking. If your mayo is very thick then add a tablespoon of water and whisk to loosen it slightly. If you're happy with the consistency then don't bother. I usually find that somewhere between 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon does perfectly. Whisk again briefly and that's the mayo done.

Moving on to the prawn cocktail itself - Put three dessert spoons of mayonnaise in the other small bowl and add 1 dessert spoon of tomato ketchup, 2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar and about 6 or 7 drops of Tabasco. Give this a good stir together and add the prawns to the sauce.

To serve, cut a strip of lettuce about two inches thick, place in the centre of your plate and spoon a few prawns on top.

Add another strip of lettuce at a right angle and another spoon of prawns. Add a final strip of lettuce and then carefully place a few more prawns on top. Lastly dust with smoked paprika and serve!

I hope that you enjoy it.


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