• Ultimate prawn cocktail (Adam Liaw)Source: Adam Liaw

This 1980s classic has an enduring appeal with its combination of tasty ingredients, novel aesthetic, and ease of preparation.




Skill level

Average: 3.3 (6 votes)


  • 2 baby cos lettuce, quartered
  • 250 g baby cucumbers, sliced
  • 250 g cherry heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 16 extra-large, cooked tiger prawns, shelled, intestinal tract removed, tails left intact
  • pinch sweet paprika
  • 1 handful fennel fronds

Cocktail sauce

  • 200 g mayonnaise
  • 50 ml tomato ketchup
  • splash of brandy
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, zest and a small squeeze of juice

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Serves 4 as an entrée or 16 canape pieces

  1. For the cocktail sauce, mix all the ingredients together, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  2. To serve, place the lettuce, cucumber and tomato in a bowl. Drizzle with oil and add a squeeze of lemon juice, then season to taste and toss to combine. Arrange the salad in retro cocktail glasses and dollop the cocktail sauce around the outside. Hang the prawns around the outside of the glass, then sprinkle with a pinch of paprika and a few fennel fronds.

Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.