Ben Shewry’s hectic prawn cocktails

How does a prawn cocktail become hectic? When it’s the centrepiece of snack table romance. Ben Shewry knows. That’s why he’s adding this party classic to the menu.

“All the best parties are mad hectic,” says Ben Shewry. “Especially those small-town cabarets I frequented as a teen. Yep all white jeans (hand me downs from Jen from next door), Bon Jovi and cocktail sauce-like gel hair.

“In the '80s nothing said party like a prawn cocktail. Come now, don’t be shy - we’ve all got a story about meeting Dave or Rach by the prawn cocktail bowl, eyes locking over a succulent crustacean. Oops, I dribbled the cocktail sauce, here let me clean that up for you with my napkin. Those were the days. And here they are again.”

Makes 4


4 iceberg lettuce cups

2 tbsp shredded iceberg lettuce

4 tbsp Chang’s fried noodles

4 sustainable farmed Australian prawns (check the Good Fish Guide app), cooked, shelled and sliced in half

A few drops of olive oil

Fresh lemon juice, to taste

Salt, to taste

Cocktail sauce

75g mayonnaise

50g tomato sauce

1 tbsp Frank’s hot sauce

A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper, to taste


1. For the cocktail sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Cover and set aside in fridge until needed.

2. Use a small knife and a cup as a guide to cut round lettuce cups. Place a pinch of shredded lettuce on one side of each lettuce cup. On the other side, place a tablespoon of crisp noodles. Season prawns with salt and a few drops of lemon juice and olive oil. Place a prawn on each lettuce cup. Spoon a teaspoon (or more) of cocktail sauce over each prawn and serve.

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