Audra Morrice's Grilled Prawns with Chunky Miso Garlic Chilli Oil

Audra Morrice's Grilled Prawns with Chunky Miso Garlic Chilli Oil

Termed "heaven on a plate" by cook, host, and author, Audra Morrice, this Grilled Prawns with Chunky Miso Garlic Chilli Oil is a simple yet flavourful dish that highlights the natural sweetness of fresh live prawns. Originally crafted for a private client event, this updated version showcases a chunky miso garlic chilli oil, inspired by Audra's recent trip to Japan.

Having been in the Nagano region in Japan recently, I was exposed to so many different types of miso. I learned from local cooks that combining different miso varieties with mirin, soy, and sugar, often results a delicious concoction that serves well as a condiment. After a bit of a play, miso added a beautiful umami flavour that works well with the chilli oil and prawns.

You can use different types of miso, but you may need to adjust the balance of sweetness with sugar and/or mirin depending on the saltiness. One thing to be mindful of — when using miso — is to use cold water when diluting the paste. Otherwise, it will solidify and clump. Mix the miso/liquid first, then stir into the oil mixture. As for the exact quantity, this is where your instincts and common sense comes into play.

This recipe consists of three main parts: a chunky chilli oil, a miso mixture (to add to the chilli oil), and grilled prawns. Enjoy it as a complete dish or use it for a quick and easy condiment to elevate your meals. After all, who doesn't love an appetising chilli oil to accompany their favourite dishes? We enjoyed it so much that we soaked up the leftovers with some bread.

For the chilli oil

  • 5-6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • Half a bunch of coriander, stems/root finely chopped (about 2 tbsp), leaves kept aside
  • 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp shichimi togarashi (Japanese pepper)
  • 2 heaped tbsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp crispy shallots
  • ¼ cup cooking oil

    For the chilli oil

    1. Heat cooking oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and fry till lightly lightly golden.

    2. Add chopped coriander, stir, continue to fry for another minute.

    3. Add chilli flakes, togarashi, and sesame seeds. Fry till fragrant, then add gochugaru and crispy shallots.

    4. Stir and fry for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.

    For the miso mixture

    • 1 heaped tbsp miso
    • 1 tsp white sugar
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tsp mirin
    • Cold water (prepare 4-5 tbsp)

      For the miso mixture

      1. In a separate bowl, combine miso with sugar, soy sauce, and mirin. Add enough cold water and mix till it forms a smooth, loose paste.

      For the prawns

      • 20 fresh medium to large tiger or glass prawns, butterflied, deveined
      • Sea salt
      • Freshly cracked black pepper
      • 1 tsp chilli flakes
      • 1 tsp shichimi togarashi
      • 1 ½ tbsp cooking oil
      • Dash of plum wine (optional)

        For the prawns

        1. Place prepared prawns in a basin. Season with salt, pepper, chilli flakes, togarashi and oil. Toss to combine. Set aside.

        2. In a large pan over medium heat, place butterflied side face down, flattening it slightly so it spreads out on the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the prawns just begins to turn orange.

        3. Flip and cook on all sides for another 2-3 minutes until prawns are almost cooked. Deglaze with plum wine (if using). Toss for a minute or two. Remember not to crowd the pan and cook the prawns in batches.

        To serve

        • Zest of 1 lemon
        • Juice of ½ lemon
        • 1 tsp sesame oil
        • 1 tbsp crispy shallots
        • 1 tbsp crispy garlic
        • Toasted sesame seeds, optional
        • Cold water, if needed


          1. Pour the miso mixture into the bowl of cooled chilli oil. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, sesame oil, crispy shallots and crispy garlic. Add more sesame seeds if desired — we did.


          2. Mix thoroughly until you get a loose but chunky miso garlic chilli oil. Add more water to loosen the mixture if needed. Note: this oil can be prepared ahead of time but will clump as it cools due to the miso. Simply add additional water to loosen before serving and adjust seasoning with more sugar and soy.

          3. Spoon the miso garlic chilli oil over the freshly grilled prawns. Finish with a generous sprinkling of coriander leaves and more crispy shallots.

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