Scampi done right has to be my all-time favourite. Proper Irish prawns with a spicy, zesty tartare sauce for a starter will leave you & your guests blown away. There's a few chefs tips in this recipe that really set it apart from good to great.


Serves: 2

For the tartar sauce

  • 100g mayo
  • 20g dill pickles finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh dill or tarragon if not available
  • ½ small red onion very finely diced
  • 6 green olives finely diced
  • 50g green jalapeno finely diced
  • 40 ml of the jalapeno liquor from the jar
  • 30 g very finely diced granny smith apple

For the scampi

  • 8 Irish prawns per person (peeled)
  • Juice & Zest of 1 lemon
  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • 50 g flour
  • 1 egg whisked with 100ml buttermilk – normal milk will do
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 100ml rapeseed oil


For the tartar sauce

  1. Simply mix all these ingredients in a bowl it's a good idea to have this done in advance so when the prawns are ready your good to serve.

For the scampi

  1. Firstly season the prawns with the salt & the lemon juice – this makes all the difference.
  2. Toss them in the flour.
  3. Add the lemon zest & coconut to the breadcrumbs
  4. Dip the prawns in the egg mixture one by one
  5. Then coat them in the breadcrumb mix
  6. Heat a wide base pan, add the oil & bring to a medium heat
  7. Add the butter & add the prawns one by one – you may need to do this in batches depending on the size of the pan. If you need to do it in two, split the prawns & amount of oil & butter.
  8. Fry the prawns until deliciously golden brown on each side should take about 4- 5 minutes
  9. Remove & set on a tray with some kitchen towel

For serving

  1. A really good, heaped spoon full of tartare sauce in a bowl – place the scampi on top & serve.