Fred’s Sligo Bay Prawn Cocktail

A perfect starter for your supper, but only for grown-ups.

Prawn cocktail. Photo: Shutterstock/gresei
Novice Kitchenhand

Skill level


Cooking time



Serves 4

  • 400g of fresh prawns
  • 4 tiger prawns or lobster head for presentation
  • 4 tbsps of mayonnaise
  • glug of Worcestershire sauce
  • 10–15 drops of tabasco sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsps of ketchup
  • splash of sherry
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 Washington Red or Pink Lady apple
  • 400g of rocket salad or watercress
  • half a lime, sliced
  • cayenne pepper or paprika (optional)


  1. Cook your prawns (and lobster head if you’re using one for presentation during supper) the night before and chill in the fridge overnight.
  2. If you have time, make your own mayonnaise with free-range eggs and good quality olive oil. If you want to save some time, you can use a good quality shop brand – just make sure it’s full fat!
  3. In a mixing bowl, add four generous tablespoons of mayonnaise, a healthy glug of Worcestershire sauce and 10 to 15 drops of tabasco sauce. Throw in plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Mix in two good dessert spoons of tomato ketchup. Add a slug of your favourite tipple, which can be sherry, gin, brandy or vodka. Now cut a lime in half and squeeze the juice of one half into the sauce to cut the richness.
  5. Get a good quality Washington red or Pink Lady apple. Leaving the skin on, dice it and add to the sauce. This will give little zings of sweetness and sharpness.
  6. Now to plate up! You want to make this pretty, so choose either cocktail glasses on a nice plate or a medium-sized dinner plate. Impressing your guests is the name of the game, so presentation is everything. With seafood, we eat first with our eyes!
  7. Use a good salad mix of baby leaves with some sharpness like rocket or watercress. Keep some of the seafood whole or in the shell to present on the plate and use slices of lime. I like to drizzle the pink sauce over the prawns rather than to mix in and if you want to add a bit of 1970s style, a shake of paprika or cayenne is good.
Recipe supplied by Forager Fred, Organiser of the annual Sligo Bay Lifeboat Seafood Night

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