Prawns with sambal and pineapple

Photo: Prawns with sambal and pineapple

"Perfecting the art of the barbecued prawn is an Aussie rite of passage," says Atlas chef Charlie Carrington. "I love this method of slicing them lengthways so they’re easy to eat, yet beautifully presented. Here, the high-impact sambal is the star of the show, so take the time to get the sweet–salty balance spot on."


8 prawns, halved lengthways

20ml grapeseed oil

1 pineapple, diced, core removed

1 bunch coriander (cilantro) leaves picked

Juice of 2 limes


10 red chillies, deseeded and minced

4 large shallots, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

20ml fish sauce

20g sugar

5g lemongrass stem, minced

60ml peanut oil

3 kaffir lime leaves


  1. In a mortar and pestle pound all the sambal ingredients except the peanut oil and the kaffir lime leaves. Continue pounding as you pour in the peanut oil. Once it looks like a paste, cook it gently in a non-stick pan with the lime leaves, stirring until the paste darkens and thickens. Taste and perhaps add some extra fish sauce or sugar, depending on whether you need extra saltiness or sweetness, then set aside.
  2. Brush the prawns with the oil. Put a griddle or barbecue on a high heat, then cook the prawns, shell side down, until they are just starting to cook through, then remove from the heat.
  3. Next grill the pineapple quickly, just for a touch of heat and flavour.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the pineapple though the coriander, lime juice and sambal. Arrange the prawns on a platter, then cover with the pineapple, herb and sambal mix.

This is an edited extract from The Atlas Cookbook by Charlie Carrington, published by Hardie Grant Books $39.99. Available where all good books are sold.