Christmas Prawns with Mango Salsa

These are called Christmas Prawns purely because we had them on Christmas Day, they could equally be called Tuesday Prawns but that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it …

One of my favourite shops in Dublin is the Asia Market on Drury Street. I used to drag my kids in there until they complained of the smell of durian, but I still visit the place frequently. One of the delights in their freezer cabinet is prawns in various shapes and sizes and great value too. For this recipe I used farmed/shelled/deveined/uncooked prawns.

For this dish as a starter I allowed 4 prawns per person, but revise this upwards if you’re planning it as a main course or your guests look hungry.


  • 1 large iceberg lettuce or similar
  • 2 mango(e)s, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cucumbers – peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds scooped out
  • 15 mint leaves, chopped
  • large fistful coriander, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped root ginger
  • 1 fresh hot red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, shaved
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • bag of prawns defrosted


The trick with this is to do everything as last-minute as possible to keep the freshness of the dish intact.

Put a large pot of slightly salted water on to boil. If you don’t have a pot, use a pan! The trick is to heat a large volume of water.

Meanwhile, peel the cucumbers, scoop out the seeds and dice or slice, place into a non-reactive bowl. Peel the mango(e)s and chuck ’em in with the cucumbers. Ditto the pomegranate. Chop the mint and coriander and add to the above. In a jar, add the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, chilli and ginger, screw on a lid and shake until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the other stuff and mix thoroughly.

Cook the prawns in the now boiling water for three minutes. Over-cook them and they will be tough, under-cook them and you might find yourself in the environs of a toilet for a day or two.


On each plate, place a lovingly detached leaf from your lettuce, pile on a generous scoop of your salsa and top off with prawns, stacked in whatever orientation best suits your guests’ demeanour.

I added a coriander dressing to this which was possibly overkill and not viscous enough, I was trying to be all Dylan McGrath all over the plate but it didn’t really work. Presentation isn’t my strong point.



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