Prawns in Beer and Peri-Peri Sauce

prawns beer peri peri sauceI love this dish! It’s flavorful, quick, easy and the spicy peri-peri sauce gives this dish that little extra umph.

The Portuguese who emigrated to the African Cape area that would later become South Africa mixed local herbs and African birds’ eye peppers to create peri-peri (correct spelling in Portuguese is piri-piri).

Some say that the magic of Portuguese-influenced food in South Africa is its fearless use of the locally grown fiery “African red devil”, an extremely hot cultivar of the chill pepper called peri-peri.


  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 lbs prawns, cleaned and heads removed
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbs Nandos peri-peri sauce (or more if desired) or recipe below
  • 1 can beer
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Peri-peri Sauce (if not available in bottled form)

  • 2 tsp African red devil chilies, very finely chopped or chili paste
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt to taste
  • pared rind of 1 small lemon (use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin in thin strips)

Put the ingredients together in a bottle and shake well. You can make the sauce ahead and store it in the fridge; the flavor improves with age, reaching its peak at two weeks.


  • Drizzle lemon juice over prawns
  • Heat the butter and olive oil in a saucepan
  • Add the garlic, peri-peri and beer, and simmer for two minutes
  • Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes, then pour over the prawns
  • Marinate for 15 to 30 minutes
  • Pour into a roasting pan and grill for about 10 minutes or until cooked through
  • Stir in fresh cilantro and season to taste with salt

Serve with fresh white Portuguese rolls to soak up the sauce.


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