Peppery Garlic Prawns

LentLow CarbShrimp

Shrimp marinated in a mixture of garlic, pepper, lemon juice, and brandy, quickly sautéed and served over rice with a sprinkling of parsley.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

My friends are so very patient with me.

BFF Steve-Anna first emailed me this spicy, peppery shrimp recipe, a favorite of hers, four years ago. And then again, at least two or three more times, when I declared I couldn’t find it, and would she please-pretty-please send it again.

Our Favorite Videos

Hey Stevie, we finally made it! Just in time for Lent.

Dang, what took us so long? Love the shrimp! It certainly packs a punch though, with all of the black pepper the recipe asks for. Feel free to cut back on the pepper to tone it down a bit.

The recipe also calls for a tablespoon of brandy. This I think is an essential ingredient for the recipe. (Actually with so few ingredients, they’re all essential.)

There is no substitute. If you simply cannot cook with alcohol, add a dab of butter to the olive oil. It will change the flavor of the finished dish, but it should still taste great.

Peppery Garlic Prawns Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes
  • Marinating time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 2-3 as a main dish, 4 as an appetizer

Menu suggestion: Goes well over white basmati rice (be sure to drizzle extra sauce from the pan over the rice), snow peas or sugar snap peas, and some french bread to soak up the garlic sauce. If you don't like the strong black pepper taste, you can back off a bit and it's still great.


  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns*
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 lb. raw medium-sized shrimp, shelled, de-veined and split (tails on or off)**
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

*Crushing the peppercorns can be done with a mortar and pestle. Or if you don't have a mortar and pestle, place the whole peppercorns in a small ziplock bag and place that bag inside another ziplock bag and smash with a hammer. Do this on a hard surface, if done on a wood surface, it can leave dents. The ziplock will also tear a bit, so take care not to lose the crushed pepper (why you double bag it).

** Trader Joe's has great frozen uncooked, shrimp, shelled and de-veined with tails on. To defrost frozen shrimp, place in a bowl of ice water in the refrigerator.


1 Marinate the shrimp: Mix together the crushed garlic, salt, crushed peppercorns, lemon juice and brandy. Add the shrimp and marinate at least an hour or up to overnight in the fridge.

2 Sauté the shrimp: Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil. Add shrimp and garlic mixture and cook quickly, tossing shrimp. The longer the shrimp has been marinating, the less time it takes to cook.

Cook until the shrimp has turned opaque (generally only 2-3 minutes).

Garnish with chopped parsley.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.


Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

25 Comments / Reviews

No ImagePeppery Garlic Prawns

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Ganesh

    It came out very well and different taste with the Brandy!


  2. Deirdre

    This is absolutely delicious and so, so simple. I love pepper so no reducing the amounts for my taste. Thanks for all the tips on having more sauce. Excellent result! I will be re-visiting your site for other recipes if they’re all this good.


  3. Francisco

    For those that want extra sauce quadruple the recipe, if you want to have french bread sop, add even more. The recipe amounts are lacking and you will be disappointed if you like extra sauce. Also, if you are a spicier type cook or eater, double the pepper. This is pretty tame for anyone that has experience with Asian or Mexican food.

  4. Eileen

    Oh wow, thank you so much for this recipe. So simple, and so utterly delicious. I wonder how this marinade would taste with other fish? Just as good, I suspect. Even maybe with tofu.


  5. Maria

    Just finished eating this. So delicious. I didn’t have brandy or lemon juice on hand so I used red Shiraz and lime juice instead. Absolutely delish. I added extra black pepper for a kick.
    I mixed into my primavera pasta, it was a great accompaniment.

    Can’t wait to make this for my parents :)

View More
Peppery Garlic Prawns