Drunken Prawns

Drunken Prawns

Drunken Prawns

I have never acquired a taste for whiskey – it is just not my drink of choice. The last time it ever passed my lips,  was as part of a nauseating, alcoholic swamp-water consumed during a crazy teenage dare! Well, come to think of it, that may be why I don’t even like the smell of whiskey now.  However, I have recently discovered that it can play a delicious role in cooking and baking. A few months ago, I made a divine coffee cake, generously spiked with bourbon whiskey. It was a huge hit, and I began to imagine that whiskey may find a place in my pantry.  Then I came across today’s recipe for drunken prawns. Here the whiskey imparts a mellow, caramel-like richness, that complements the spiciness of the sauce. One bite of this dish and I knew I had found a novel ingredient to add to my culinary repertoire, and I am on the hunt for more intriguing ways to use it.

This recipe comes from one of my all-time favourite Canadian cookbook series:  “Whitewater Cooks with Passion” by Shelley Adams, and I am excited to be bringing a big pot of my boozy prawns over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday tomorrow!  Please come join our virtual foodie blog party! We always welcome new friends and visitors. And, thanks to our talented co-hosts for this week:  Hilda, at Along the Grapevine and Mila of Milk and Bun.  Be sure to check out their sites!


Drunken Prawns



4-6 cups cooked basmati or jasmine rice

½ medium onion, diced finely

2 tablespoons garlic, chopped

4 tablespoons galangal or ginger, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup Jack Daniel’s bourbon

1 cup teriyaki sauce

½ cup sweet chili sauce

1 teaspoon chili paste (sambal olek)

¼ cup oyster sauce

¼ cup ketchup

10 lime leaves, fresh if possible

1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 3 inch pieces and bruised

½ cup Thai basil, julienned

Prawns and Veggies

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound prawns, raw and peeled with tails on

¼ red pepper, julienned

¼ orange pepper, julienned

¼ yellow pepper, julienned

4 green onions sliced into 1- inch lengths


Sauté onion, garlic and galangal in oil until softened, about 4 minutes.

Add Jack Daniel’s and stir for about 2 minutes to deglaze the pan.

Add teriyaki sauce, sweet chili sauce, sambal olek, oyster sauce, ketchup , lime leaves and lemongrass.

Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove lime leaves and lemongrass.

Add basil.

Heat a wok or large frying pan and add 2 tablespoons oil. Sauté the prawns until they just begin to turn pink.

Add peppers, green onions and sauté for a few seconds.

Add the drunken sauce and simmer until the prawns are cooked through, about 3 more minutes.

Serve over basmati or jasmine rice.

Bourbon makes the sauce sing, and the prawns dance! Party on!

Bourbon makes the sauce sing, and the prawns dance! Party on!




39 Responses to “Drunken Prawns”

    • chefjulianna

      Oh, I checked out the cake, Johanne! Now that looks like a great use for whiskey! Too funny about Canadian girls and whiskey! Glad to hear that I am in good company! 😀

  1. Hilda

    Prawns and whisky sound like a great combination to me. I’m glad you’ve discovered what a friend Jack can be to the cook and shared your findings with us at FF. Have a lovely weekend.

  2. Allthatcooking

    Prawns and Jack – great idea. A little heat from the chili sauce and chili paste, along with the citrus from lime leaves and lemon grass is genius!

  3. Nancy

    Not a whiskey drinker myself… BUT you’ve convinced me (I mean, LOOK at those prawns!) it has it’s place in cooking. Wow…looks thoroughly delicious!

  4. Loretta

    Oh my Juliana! It seems like we have the same thinking process whenever we’ve been posting eh? Seafood for you, and one for me :). I’m loving the sound of this, I do enjoy a scotch and ginger every so often, so I can only imagine what these drunken prawns must taste like. Gorgeous ingredients, beautiful presentation.

    • chefjulianna

      Thanks so much, Loretta! Yes, I have been noticing that you and I are on the same wave-length! For a few weeks we have been totally in sync! 😀

  5. Lily

    I’m not a fan of whiskey either, but I love the way you described it as a “caramel-richness” in cooking. Your dish looks and sounds heavenly -yum!

  6. Jhuls

    Chef Julianna, these prawns sound absolutely delicious, though I have to say that I don’t consume alcohol. But I know that these will be a hit at this week’s Fiesta Friday. 😀 I wish you a wonderful week ahead. x

  7. cookingwithauntjuju.com

    Hey, you used the best whiskey possible so your shrimp have to be delicious. I like to cook with alcohol but not drink it except for wine and certain liqueurs. Shrimp are always a favorite and I will add this to my “to make” shrimp recipes.

  8. milkandbun

    I do like to cook with alcohol too, it adds such a nice note. Shrimps look so good, that I just wish to get that bowl! 😀

  9. laurasmess

    Haha, funny how teenage experiences can totally put you off certain food or booze, my husband drank too much sambuca at one of those teen parties and now can’t even smell it! But I love peat whisky, I love all whisky… and the idea of infusing the flavour into these prawns sounds divine! Must try this!

    • chefjulianna

      Oh, I have sambuca stories too! Very funny! Well, If you love whiskey, you should give this dish a try! It really is one that I will make again! 😀

  10. indusinternationalkitchen

    These look divine Julianna! Oh so many lovely flavors you have in here not to mention the whiskey! I also never could get myself to have even a sip of whiskey but this recipe looks very tempting 🙂

  11. petra08

    I had a similar experience with whiskey when I was a teenager and haven’t been able to touch it since pretty much!
    Your prawns makes me think maybe I should re think this! They look super delicious 🙂 Happy FF! 🙂


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