Moroccan spiced prawns

In Morocco, we’re blessed with two sea sides (Atlantic ocean and Mediterranean sea). We’re used to eat fresh fish and anything sold after 48 hours of being caught won’t be looked at.

In French, it’s easier to dissociate between crevette (small), gambas (bigger), crevette royal (giant red prawn), langoustines (small lobster looking things). But when it comes to english, I’m a bit lost. In UK, prawns are anything between crevette to gambas and I never find the small pink crevettes..

We do have some tasty prawns in our shores that we can have them as fresh as caught the same day.
When they’re cheaper, we buy a few kgs, peel and freeze them for future use such as to stuff a big fish before oven-baking it or to make seafood bastilla/rolls/briouats..

This dish will take you less than 5 minutes to make considering that prawns are left shell on. We usually serve it as a starter to a seafood meal.

I have to stress out that using fresh praws/shrimps is much better than using frozen ones in this dish. The already cooked packs are absolutely not an option.

Serves 2
Prep: 1 min – Cooking: 3 min

  • 500g of fresh prawns, peeled or shell-on but head off , washed and drained.
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced or chopped
  • 4 tbsps of olive oil (use double for the authentic recipe)
  • 1 tbsp of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp of sweet paprika
  • Cayenne or chopped hot chili to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • chopped parsley or coriander
  • Lemon wedges


Over medium heat, fry the chili (if using it) and garlic for 5 seconds. add the spices, the herbs then the prawns in this order.

Stir and flip the prawns. Cook no more than 3 minutes, depending on the size of the prawns and if you have left them with the shell on.

Garnish with chopped herbs and lemon wedges.

Serve warm or cold.

Author: Nada

Nada Kiffa is an Expert in Moroccan cooking and her recipes are coming from a lineage of Moroccan home and professional cooks. Cooking classes and posted articles are inspired by her family life in Morocco and elsewhere. You will learn what makes a dish Moroccan before learning how to execute it. You will also learn how to work around recipes and cut corners without missing on the flavour.

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