Prawns with sweetcorn and special seafood seasoning dust

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This recipe combines two BBQ favourites: plump prawns and sweet corn cobs, steamed inside their husks. The whole lot is then covered in a spiced butter, in the style of a Louisiana shrimp boil. 

This recipe is taken from LIVE FIRE: Seasonal Barbecue Recipes and Stories of Live Fire Traditions Old and New by Helen Graves (Hardie Grant, £26) Photography: Robert Billington

First published in 2022

Helen says: "This is reminiscent of a Louisiana shrimp boil, only grilled. Why not? I actually use this seasoning dust on lots of different seafood, not least my beloved crabs – it’s incredibly satisfying to suck the dust from pieces of shell and swipe quivering claw meat through the pools of spiced butter that collect on the table. Adding grilled small potatoes would be a very good idea, to bulk this out."




Special seafood seasoning dust

Prawns and corns


  • Barbecue



Prepare a barbecue for direct cooking over medium heat


Lightly toast the fennel seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for a couple of minutes, until fragrant, moving them around so they don’t burn. Transfer to a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind or crush to a powder. Combine in a bowl with the paprika, onion and garlic powders, cayenne, salt, white pepper, thyme and oregano


If using in-husk corn, snip off any long silky parts using kitchen scissors then place the cobs over direct medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the husks are black and the corn inside is soft and yellow (you can peel a little husk back to check). If you want to char the corn, now is the time to peel off the husks and do that, taking care not to leave it on the grill more than a few minutes longer

  • 4 fresh corn on the cob, (or 1 per person), preferably in their husks

If using pre-prepared corn cobs, rub them with a little neutral oil. Grill over direct heat medium heat, turning occasionally with tongs, for about 10 minutes until soft, golden and charred

  • neutral oil, for cooking

Rub the prawns with a little neutral oil and grill them over direct heat for 1–2 minutes on each side, until completely pink


Combine the butter and 2 tablespoons of the seasoning dust in a saucepan and melt to combine. Arrange the grilled corn and prawns on a plate and pour over the spiced butter, then scatter over the green chilli and add lemon wedges, to serve

First published in 2022

Helen Graves is Head of Content at Great British Chefs. She's also the author of the cookbook LIVE FIRE: Seasonal Barbecue Recipes and Stories of Live Fire Traditions, Old and New, and the editor of Pit, an independent magazine with roots in live fire cooking.

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