Grilled Tiger Prawns & Squid
This recipe will become a staple for your summer bbq gatherings; the addition of pomegranate molasses to the smoky, punchy marinade adds a depth of flavour and helps caramelise seafood on the grill.
‘I absolutely adore the tender flesh of beautifully barbecued tiger prawns, my preference being Madagascan tiger prawns as they are so much bigger, and this has been one of my most cooked recipes on the mangal (barbecue) in the past couple of years. The marinade is warmed through first so that the flavours really get a chance to infuse together, and once cooled, half of it is used to marinade the seafood and the other half is reserved to slather all over the prawns as soon as they come off the mangal.’
Extracted from Meliz’s Kitchen by Meliz Berg (Ebury Press, 2022). Photography by Meliz Berg and Dan Jones.
12 tiger prawns, raw, shell-on (1kg/2 lb 4 oz)
2 whole squid, tubes and tentacles cleaned (500g/1 lb 2 oz)
1⁄2 tsp sea salt flakes
1⁄2 tsp cracked black pepper, plus extra to serve
oil, for brushing (optional)
For the marinade
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp pul biber
1 tsp crushed garlic
2 tbsp Turkish sweet red pepper paste
4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tsp clear honey
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus extra to serve
1 tsp finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, plus extra to serve
1 tsp dried oregano
In a small pan over a low heat, add the olive oil, and once hot, add the smoked paprika, pul biber and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, before adding the sweet red pepper paste. Spread out the sweet red pepper paste with the back of a wooden spoon so that it starts to sizzle, then add the pomegranate molasses, honey and lemon juice and cook until it begins to bubble. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
Prepare the prawns. Do not peel, but gently score along the back of one prawn with a sharp knife, slicing through the shell and a little into the flesh. Remove the vein, discard it, and carefully open up the back of the prawn slightly to half-butterfly it; this will enable the marinade to soak through into the flesh. Repeat this with the remaining prawns. Score the squid tubes slightly in a criss-cross pattern with the sharp knife and keep the tentacles whole.
Take two tablespoons of the marinade and gently rub over the prawns and squid. Season the seafood with the salt and pepper. Add the parsley leaves and oregano to the remaining marinade.
On the Barbecue
Light your barbecue. Make sure that the coals are at a high heat and the grill is very hot as the prawns and squid need fast cooking.
Barbecue the seafood for 3–4 minutes on each side until the prawns turn pink inside and the squid is chargrilled on the outside. Slice the chargrilled squid into rings, and coat everything in the reserved marinade. Serve with an extra squeeze of lemon juice, fresh parsley and cracked black pepper.
On a Griddle Pan
Brush a griddle pan with some sunflower oil and heat on the hob until very hot.
Cook the seafood for 3–4 minutes on each side until the prawns turn pink inside and the squid is chargrilled on the outside. Slice the chargrilled squid into 1-cm (1⁄2-inch) rings, and coat everything in the reserved marinade. Serve immediately (as above).