On a January holiday, I was lucky enough to spend three weeks in a lovely house on the beach in Barbados. My then-boyfriend’s mum had rented the house for three months so, for the cost of the airfare, we got a holiday in a house where the sea was ten metres from the back porch. For a sun-loving Aussie, it was perfect.

Diane, my then-boyfriend’s mum, is the sort of woman who wants what she wants. If it isn’t on the menu, she does not care and will order it anyway. Such is her personal charm, the kitchen always seems to comply with her requests.

During this gorgeous holiday, we went to a restaurant where Di had had coconut prawns with mango before. It was not on the menu but the kitchen cooked it for us.  Because, of course they did. Di wanted it. Maybe it was the crashing waves, the heat and the company but this is how I want a summer’s night to taste.

Coconut prawns with mango salsa


16 of the largest prawns you can afford

2 tlbs plain flour

1 beaten egg

2 tbls dessicated coconut

2 tbls fresh breadcrumbs

1 mango

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 red chili, finely chopped

Juice and zest of 1 lime

A small handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Black pepper



For the prawns:

Remove all shell, the heads and the black vein from the prawns.

Coat the prawns in the flour, dip them into the beaten egg then into the coconut & breadcrumbs (mixed together).  Put the prawns in the fridge for 20 mins and then dip in the egg and coconut mixture again.  This give a lovely thick crumb.

If you have a deep fryer, cook until golden brown (probably about 4 mins). If shallow frying (which I do), make  sure the oil is hot and do not cook the prawns for more than 3 mins each side.  Drain on kitchen paper and devour !

For the salsa:

Chop the mango into small cubes.  Add the onion, chili, coriander, lime juice & zest, freshly cracked black pepper and mix well.  Serve alongside the prawns.

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