Blackened Cajun Shrimp

Blackening is a Cajun cooking technique where a spice mixture is rubbed on a product and then grilled or seared at a high temperature so that the spice mixture turns black. This process of blackening also increases the intense flavouring of the spice mixture.

I love spicy food and I love trying new things in the kitchen. I came across this awesome recipe for blackened shrimp at a ‘soul food’ kitchen. Basically, it is a recipe for a mixture of spices that makeup the blackening process. I played around and experimented with it on different foods and found it to be great on fish, chicken, scallops and especially on shrimp.

When buying fresh prawns or shrimps look for the following signs before making your choice:

– The shells should be firm and glossy and not cracked broken or slippery

– The heads or shells should not be discoloured, as this is an indication that the meat is starting to go bad.

– They should smell fresh and salty. Avoid if there is any hint of a smell of ammonia

– The eyes should be prominent and shiny and not shrunken inwards or missing.


6 Jumbo king prawns, heads removed, shells peeled, except the last segment (ensuring the tail stays on as ‘natural handles), and deveined

2 Tbsp groundnut oil

2Tsp Cajun Seasoning

1 Large clove of garlic finely chopped

Salt & pepper to season

1 Tbsp finely chopped Coriander

1 Knob of butter

½ Juice of lemon

Extra lemon wedges to garnish


1) Toss the shrimp in a bowl, adding 1 tbsp oil, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Ensure the shrimp are evenly coated.

2) Heat the rest of the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a high heat.

3) Place the shrimp in the pan, turn heat down to medium and add the garlic.

4) Cook on both sides for approximately 4 – 5 minutes each. Lightly blacken the shrimp but pay attention not to burn them, as they cook quickly; when the shrimp curl, they are done.

5) To finish sauté the prawns very briefly with the juice of ½ a lemon followed by a knob of butter and sprinkle with coriander

6) Serve with lots of crusty bread and ice-cold beer or chilled white wine.