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Classic Dublin bay prawn cocktail

The retro starter has gone under a modern makeover at the hands of Executive Chef Alberto Rossi

Serving: 4
Time: Less than 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy



  • 1.5 kg of fresh Dublin bay prawns
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 small onion
  • 15 white peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • Salt
  • 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce 
  • 1 baby gem
  • 1 shallot
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Ketchup
  • 1 tbs of brandy
  • Juice of 1/2 orange



  1. To cook the prawns, put on a cold pot of water on the fire; add the bay leaf, 1 lemon cut in half, the peppercorns, the star anise and the salt.
  2. Bring to boil, put in the prawns, and cook for about 6-7 minutes. Using tongues, remove the prawns from the boiling water and put them in a bowl with iced water to cool down.
  3. After about 10 minutes, snap the tail from the body and peel them. Remove the dirt from the back of the prawns.
  4. For the Mary-Rose sauce, mix mayo and ketchup (half the amount of ketchup to mayo), squeeze in the orange juice, add the brandy and mix all. Refrigerate.
  5. Shave the iceberg lettuce, add some Mary-Rose sauce, and put it in the glasses or bowl; use a couple of baby gem leaves too.
  6. Toss the prawns in some olive oil and salt and arrange them nicely on top of lettuce; slice the shallot as fine as possible and use as decoration.
  7. If you have some smoked Paprika available, sprinkle just a bit on top.
  8. Serve with half a lemon.

Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Alberto Rossi at the five-star InterContinental Dublin in Ballsbridge.

For more tasty seafood dishes, click here.