Rinse the prawns with cold water and dry them well in a cloth. Put the remaining ingredients, except the lime juice, into a food processer and purée to a paste. Toss the prawns in this, cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
When you’re ready to cook the prawns, heat a heavy frying pan (preferably non-stick) until it is extremely hot – the heat is needed to make the shells go crisp. Carefully add as many prawns as will fit comfortably at one time, shaking off excess marinade as you go. Fry them for 2 minutes on each side until they are slightly blackened and crisp. When they’re all done add the remaining marinade to the pan and fry for a minute. Then add the lime juice and, when it comes to the boil, spoon the marinade over the cooked prawns.
Eat with your fingers and I do urge you to eat the whole thing – you’ll be deliciously rewarded! The prawns can be served with some crusty bread or boiled rice to mop up the juices.
© 1997 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.