Buttered Prawns with Bretonne Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • serves


Appears in

Darina Allen's Simply Delicious Suppers

Darina Allen's Simply Delicious Suppers

By Darina Allen

Published 2001

  • About


  • 2.3 litres water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 900 g whole prawns (yields 170 g prawn tails approx.)
  • 30 g butter

Bretonne Sauce

  • 1 egg yolk, preferably free-range
  • ½ teaspoon French mustard (we use Maille mustard with green herbs)
  • 1 tablespoon mixed finely chopped chives, fennel, parsley and thyme
  • 85 g butter


  • flat-leaf parsley or fresh fennel


Bring the water to the boil and add the salt. De-vein the prawns. Toss them into the boiling water and as soon as the water returns to the boil, test a prawn and then remove immediately. Very large prawns may take ½–1 minute more. Allow to cool and then remove the shells.

Next make the Bretonne sauce. Whisk the egg yolk with the mustard and herbs in a bowl. Bring the butter to the boil and pour it in a steady stream on to the egg yolk, whisking continuously until the sauce thickens to a light coating consistency as with a Hollandaise. Keep warm in a flask or place in a pottery or plastic bowl (not stainless steel) in a saucepan of hot but not boiling water.

Just before serving, toss the prawns in foaming butter until heated through. Heap them on to a hot serving dish. Coat with Bretonne sauce. Garnish with flat parsley or fresh fennel and serve immediately.