It’s summer. Every Friday night, back porches, patios, and beaches beckon with smoke signals that mean one thing: barbecue. While burgers and hot dogs are great, on really sweltering evenings you may find yourself craving something a little lighter. These spicy peach-glazed prawns are bright, tart, and pack a little heat; plus, they pair perfectly with an icy cold beverage. But they don’t have to replace your barbecue favorites; they also make a fresh, juicy, pre-burger snack since they grill to perfection in just minutes.
For the best flavor, especially if you’re near a coast, try to purchase fresh prawns with their shells on. Make sure the shells are not broken or slippery and the heads are not discolored. Also, look for shellfish with a fresh saltwater smell and eyes that are prominent and shiny. Fresh prawns are highly perishable, so use them the same day you buy them. If you can’t find fresh prawns, frozen raw prawns are the next best option. Store them in the freezer until it’s time to defrost them slowly in the refrigerator or in cold water.
When grilling with bamboo skewers, remember that they can burn easily. If you soak them for a few minutes before adding the shrimp, it will prevent them from blackening.
Skewering each prawn lengthwise will keep them from curling up on the grill and will let them cook evenly. To get nice grill marks without overcooking the prawns, you’ll need to work with a very hot grill, so it’s good to let it heat up for a while first. Adding sugar to the marinade helps to create caramelization and more distinct grill marks.
The result: beautifully browned prawns with a sweet, summery crust and a pop of heat.
Get the Recipe: Grilled Prawn Skewers with Spicy Peach Glaze
Makes 8 skewers
Serving size: 2 skewers
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
16 prawns, cleaned and peeled
2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped chili (I used habanero), plus more to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
1. In a small pot, combine the peaches, sugar, chili, salt, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool. Add the oil and stir to combine.
2. Place the prawns in a large resealable plastic bag and add the peach glaze. Seal the bag and shake to mix well. Marinate the prawns at room temperature for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat a grill to high heat.
4. Thread 2 prawns onto a skewer and repeat with the rest of the prawns. Grill, pressing down on the prawns slightly to ensure good contact with the grill, for 3 to 5 minutes, turning once, until pink.
As a member of the Food Network blogger network, this post is part of the Let’s Pull Up a Chair series. Discover more great dishes using the hashtag #SummerSoiree, on Pinterest, and from our blogger friends here:
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Katie Kosaya is a New York City-based food photographer, stylist, and content creator. She currently works at the International Culinary Center, and she blogs about life and food at lublyou.com. She spends her free time cooking, collecting props and exploring New York in search of dumplings and ramen.