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Prawn ‘sizzle’ with bay & fennel

Rosie Birkett

Prawns drowning in olive oil, garlic, chilli and aromatic herbs, served still sizzling

Recipe Meta


10 mins


20 mins






  • 250g small new potatoes, skin on
  • A large handful of samphire
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 fresh bay leaves
  • ½ bulb fennel, finely sliced
  • ½ red chilli, finely sliced
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 200g raw, shell-on king prawns
  • 50ml white wine
  • Crusty bread, to serve
  • Lemon wedges, to serve


Cook your potatoes in plenty of boiling salted water, until tender – about 12-15 mins. My test for this is to pierce one with the tip of a sharp knife, and if it slips off the blade easily, they are done. Once tender, add the samphire into the water and blanch for a minute or so, until softened. Drain off the water and throw in a knob of butter. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice and keep warm while you make the sizzle.

Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan or, better still, a cast iron skillet, over a medium to high heat. Add the bay, fennel, chilli, lemon zest and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes to infuse the oil with all those lovely flavours.

Add in the prawns and cook for a couple of minutes on each side, until the shells have changed colour and are starting to caramelise, then deglaze with the wine, cooking for about 1 min, until it’s evaporated.

Drizzle over a little more extra virgin olive oil and serve with the potatoes, samphire and crusty bread for mopping up those juices.

Image: Helen Cathcart

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