Broiled Lemongrass Prawns


I remember being mystified when Mark Bittman said that a broiler is simply an upside down grill. Of course, I’d used my broiler, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hankered for homemade bbq or a grilled something-or-other but didn’t think of making it in my broiler before Mr. Bittman kindly pointed out I have the makings of my own grill at home. D’uh!

So now I don’t weep when a recipe calls for grilling: I broil instead. And for New Year’s, when I wanted to make a special appetizer for my dinner with Sean, I opted for this dish: Broiled Lemongrass Prawns. I found this recipe in Quick & Easy Vietnamese Home Cooking for Everyone. The book isn’t sexy, but the recipes are delicious and spot on. And I felt it simply would be wrong of me not to share this one.


  • Prep Time: 5 – 10 minutes
  • Inactive Time: 15 minutes (for marinating)
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes on low broil
  • Total Time: 30 – 35 minutes


  • 1 medium size mixing bowl
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • paper towels
  • broiling tray covered in aluminum foil
  • oven / toaster oven with broiler


6 jumbo prawns – skin on (you can use this as an entree or you can eat 1 skewer if you share)
2 lemongrass stalks (tips cut at a diagonal)

For Marinade
2 tbsp of chopped lemongrass
1 tbsp of olive oil (I used canola oil and it was fine)
1 tbsp of honey
1 tbsp of fish sauce (nuoc mam)
2 tsp of yellow Vietnamese curry (yellow Thai curry also works in this recipe)
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 tsp of chili paste (you can use Sriracha if you like)


  1. Combine ingredients for marinade: 2 tbsp chopped lemongrass, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp honey
    1 tbsp fish sauce (nuoc mam), 2 tsp yellow Vietnamese curry, 2 chopped scallions, and 1 tsp of chili paste in a bowl.
  2. Add prawns and marinade for 15 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes, fire up the broiler (low), and move oven rack so it is close to the flame.
    Remove prawns from marinade, and using a paper towel remove excess moisture (the prawns should be a little dry).
  4. Discard marinade.
  5. Skewer the prawns with the lemongrass stalks, and place on top of a foil covered broiling tray.
  6. Slide the tray into the oven and broil for 5 minutes on each side (ten minutes total). Prawns skin should be crispy and pink (it will look grilled!).
  7. Remove from oven and serve over a bed of greens.

TIP:If you would like to make a dressing for the greens make the marinade without the curry powder or use the dressing from my Chicken and Mint Salad.

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