Prawn Cocktail - Prawns (shrimp) tossed in a Marie Rose Sauce, the classic pink mayonnaise sauce for prawn cocktails. Fast, fresh and delicious!
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5 from 3 votes

Prawn Cocktail!!!

A classic Prawn Cocktail recipe! Juicy prawns (shrimp) tossed in a beautiful Prawn Cocktail Sauce (Rose Marie Sauce - a pink mayonnaise). The key to a good Rose Marie Sauce is a good mayonnaise. Use whole-egg if you can find it . (Note 1) A classic Aussie summer festive starter!
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: Prawn Cocktail
Servings: 6
Calories: 232kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats


  • 1 kg / 2 lb medium fresh cooked or raw prawns with shell and heads on (yields ~600g once peeled); OR
  • 600 g / 1.2 lb fresh cooked prawns already peeled
  • About 3 cup iceberg lettuce, finely sliced
  • Lemon wedges
  • Finely chopped parsley (optional)


  • 2/3 cup / 165 ml mayonnaise , preferably good quality whole egg mayonnaise (Note 2)
  • 1 tbsp ketchup or Australian/UK tomato sauce (Note 3)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp freshly grated horseradish (or sub 1 1/2 tsp jarred OR 3/4 tsp wasabi)
  • Dash of tabasco sauce (to taste)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste + tiny bit of colour)


  • If you are using whole prawns, remove heads and peel them. Leave a few whole for decorative purposes, if you wish. I find that with medium size already cooked prawns, deveining is usually not necessary (it's hard to do + so small it's barely noticeably especially with sauce).
  • Mix together Sauce in a small bowl.
  • Toss prawns with Sauce.
  • Place a bit of lettuce in serving dishes. I like to use Martini glasses, but you can use any small serving vessel, or even small lettuce cups.
  • Top with prawns. Serve, garnished with lemon wedges and a sprinkle of parsley, if using.


1. Let's talk PRAWNS! The better and fresher your prawns, the tastier this will be. In Australia, seafood stores and even major supermarkets sell really great quality fresh whole cooked prawns. They are basically cooked the moment they are caught, so they are great quality!
For a premium, you can purchase them already peeled. But they will be juicier and fresher if you peel them yourself!
2. Whole Egg Mayonnaise is smoother and not as sharp in flavour as classic mayonnaise. It is now widely available in Australian supermarkets - I use S&W (sold at Woolies and Coles).
3. Tomato Sauce in Australia/UK and many other countries outside America is a condiment that is the equivalent of ketchup (just slightly less flavouring spices in it). If you are in America, do NOT use your tomato sauce which is more like pureed tinned tomatoes with some flavourings, the flavour is not strong enough!
4. How much prawns per person - I cater for 100g / 3.5 oz of prawns per head which I think is a good size for starters. But you can be as generous as you want!
5. Prep time assumes you use already peeled prawns. I peeled my own - it takes me about 15 minutes to peel 1 kg / 2 lb of medium sized prawns (about 45 I think), but I've had practice! Line up the family at the kitchen bench and make a production line out of it! 
6. Sauce recipe by Neil Perry.
7. Make Ahead: Peel prawns and place in airtight container for up to 24 hours (the fresher the better). Make sauce and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Assemble just before serving. If you assemble more than say 3 hours ahead, you'll end up with sauce pooled on the lettuce. I assembled it 5 hours ahead and had that problem - still delish and still enough sauce on the prawns, but there was more sauce than ideal pooled at the base of the glass.
8. Nutrition per serving, assuming 6 servings.


Serving: 150g | Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.5g | Protein: 23.2g | Fat: 10.9g | Saturated Fat: 1.9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 218mg | Sodium: 479mg | Sugar: 2.7g