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+ servings
prawn cocktail served in glass ware
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5 from 3 votes

Spicy Prawn Cocktail

Spicy Prawn cocktail is a classic starter dish where juicy prawns are tossed in traditional pink Marie Rose sauce with an added punch. A dish that can be served as starter, for salads or along with mains. Prawn cocktail essential has prawns, salad and a sauce in it.
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Starters
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 228kcal


  • 1 lb freshest and best prawns
  • 1 lemon or lime quartered
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 whole black pepper corns
  • Generous pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 cups iceberg lettuce or romaine, shredded

Cocktail Sauce-

  • 4 tablespoon mayonnaise preferably whole egg mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce or Worcestershire sauce or tabasco sauce or any hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish finely grated creamed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt


  • Bring a pot of water to boil. You can season or flavour it with a bay leave, few whole black pepper corns along with salt. Once water comes to boil, add prawns (shelled or with shells but remember to devein the prawns) to the boiling water.
  • Pro-Tip : I devein the prawns before cooking. I also prefer removing the head , but leave the tail on. It’s so hard to devein it once cooked.
  • For serving purpose keep a few prawns with tail on.
  • Cook until pink and slightly firm to touch. It should take about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Drain prawns immediately and cool it under running water.
  • To make prawn cocktail sauce, combine good mayonnaise that is smooth in texture, tomato ketchup, Sriracha sauce, lime juice, horseradish, ground pepper and salt in bowl. Whisk well and make a smooth sauce. You can store this in fridge for about 24 hours.
  • Note - Just before serving, toss cooked prawns in the sauce.
  • Place cooked prawns in large bowl, add sauce over it and toss well until every prawn is coated well in the sauce.
  • Note - If sauce seems thin, add a little more of each of the sauce ingredients over the prawns and toss again.
  • If serving in lettuce cups, do not shred all lettuce leave, keep few lettuce cups whole.
  • If serving in martini glasses for sophisticated elegant look, shred lettuce leaves and divide it between the martini cups or any glass ware that you want to use to serve these cocktail prawns.
  • Arrange neatly prawns tossed in sauce. This is an important step.
  • Garnish with lemon wedged and serve immediately.


Cooked prawns and cocktail rose Marie sauce can be made ahead and stored in refrigerator for about 24 hours. 
Toss prawns in sauce only before serving.
Leftover cocktail prawns can be refrigerated for a day. But best eaten as soon as its made. 
Peeling prawns and deveining them needs practise. Prep time is how much time it took me to devein and peel prawns. Depending on how well practised you are to handle prawns the time will very. 


Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 291mg | Sodium: 1085mg | Potassium: 199mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 21.6mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 2.7mg