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Photo of Mexican vanilla prawns by WW

Mexican vanilla prawns

Total Time
1 hr
25 min
20 min
Don’t just save fragrant vanilla pods and seeds for baking sweets, they also enhance the flavour of this savoury dish. A vanilla sauce takes these prawns to a whole new level of yum.


Raw peeled prawns

500 g, (buy 1kg whole prawns) peeled, deveined, tails on

Brown onion

1 medium, finely chopped


3 clove(s), crushed

Vanilla bean

1 whole, split, seeds scraped

Rice, white, dry

¾ cup(s), (150g)

Olive oil

1 tbs

Chicken stock

1 cup(s), salt reduced

Baby spinach

50 g, finely chopped

Fresh coriander

½ cup(s), finely chopped

Green shallot(s)

1 tbs, finely chopped


1 medium, (wedges, to serve)


  1. Combine the prawns, onion, garlic and vanilla pod and seeds in a medium bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes to marinate.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the rice in a large saucepan of boiling salted water following packet instructions or until just tender. Drain.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Cook the prawn mixture, tossing, for 4 minutes or until the prawns curl and change colour. Transfer the prawns to a bowl and cover loosely to keep warm. Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by half. Remove and discard the vanilla pod. Return the prawns to the pan and toss until heated through.
  4. Stir the spinach, coriander and shallot through the rice. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the prawns, sauce and lime wedges.


SERVING SUGGESTION: Steamed green beans.