Prawns in Ancho Butter

Are there three sweeter words to sit alongside each other: prawns … ancho … butter?!
This prawns recipe gives guidance for just one way to cook prawns in ancho butter. In a skillet on the hob. But there are lots of variations. For example, you could grill the prawns on the BBQ first. Then heat the butter and ancho chilli powder to make a spicy glaze to brush over them. Or, you could grill the prawns. Pile them high and melt the ancho butter over them. However you cook them, if ancho butter is involved then I have just one tip: napkins, and plenty of them. Enjoy!


125g butter, softened
2tbsp ancho chilli powder
12 prawns (ideally big, juicy ones, head-on)
1/2 lemon or lime

To serve: garlic bread


First make the ancho butter (NOTE, it’s possible to substitute ancho chilli powder with Black Urfa Pepper or Aleppo Chilli Pepper which – and I can tell you from experience – are both excellent alternatives).

Put the butter into a mixing bowl and use a balloon whisk, spatula or wooden spoon to beat the Ancho Chilli Powder into the butter until it’s fully combined.

[At this point, you can use it straight away, or wrap in greaseproof paper, store it in the fridge and use later. I push it into a sausage shape, wrap one layer of greaseproof paper and then two layers of clingfilm – do remember to label it, as I often have several sausage-shaped-chilli-butters in the fridge and it can turn into something of a lucky dip].

Heat a large skillet on the hob. Add the butter. Once it’s melted and foamed then arrange the prawns in the sea of molten chilli butter and let them cook for one minute. Flip them over methodically, and allow them one more minute. Remove them from the heat, squeeze over the half lemon (or lime) to slow the cooking and serve immediately, with a chunk of garlic bread … and a finger dip or pile of napkins.

spices used

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