How to make these delicious red curry coconut prawn skewers

ready to serve (Pekunden)
Red curry prawns – an Indonesian take on a great Aussie tradition

A prawn on the barbecue is synonymous with an Australian summer and as Christmas fast approaches, the sound (and smell) of that great Aussie barbecue will be one of the things that my family misses the most. This festive season we are staying put in Jakarta and to be honest, we’re more than fine about it. We returned last Christmas and it was exciting to see everyone but also extremely hectic – so much to do, so little time! So this Christmas we are thrilled to have family coming to us and in the true style of ajb I’ve promised them that we will prepare our Christmas menu using mostly local ingredients (my husband enjoys sourcing ingredients and cooking too!)

One of our entrees will be barbecued red curry prawns – today’s simple to prepare and exceedingly tasty recipe! Using Indonesia’s amazing array of fresh herbs and spices we make the curry paste from scratch (yes, you read correctly.. no opening jars of curry paste around here!)

So in the true essence of an Aussie summer, we say, ‘throw another prawn on the barbie’ (just remember to marinate it in some homemade red curry first!!!)


Indonesian-inspired red curry paste

4 Tbsp tomato paste
1 small onion (peeled and cut into small pieces)
1 thumb-size piece galangal (peeled and sliced)
3 cm length of turmeric (peeled and sliced)
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp chilli powder/flakes
1 heaped Tbsp ground coriander
1-2 red chillies, depending on how spicy you want it
1 Tbsp cumin
3 kaffir lime leaves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Juice of 1/2 lime

ingredients - birds eye
The ingredients for our ajb red curry paste. From bottom left: jeruk nipis wedges, brown onion, garlic cloves, kaffir lime leaves, soy sauce (dark and light), mixed dried spices, galangal, turmeric, tomato paste, chilli flakes, chilli. On spoons: shrimp paste, paprika and in bowl – fish sauce


1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and close lid firmly
ingredients blender (birdseye)

2. Process well to form a paste

Note: If ingredients get ‘stuck’ and do not blend properly, add (up to) 2 Tbsp water to allow ingredients to move more freely and encourage formation of a paste

3. Place curry paste in a clean airtight jar and store in the fridge until required
bumbu paste (closeup)


To assemble the prawn skewers

1/3 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup home made red curry paste
1kg green king prawns (approx. 24), peeled (tails intact) and deveined
Rice bran oil cooking spray
Lime wedges
Red chillis (seeds removed and julienned)
Fresh coriander
Fresh mint

1. Pre-soak bamboo skewers
2. Place coconut milk and curry paste in a bowl and mix thoroughly
3. Add skewered prawns to curry paste mixture. Toss to coat
4. Cover. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to marinate

marinating prawns - poolside
Marinating your skewers pool-side is not a requirement (in fact it is not recommended!) Instead cover them in glad wrap and refrigerate…(but a photo of that wouldn’t look as pretty!)


5. Preheat barbecue plate on high. Spray skewers with oil
6. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until prawns turn pink and are cooked through

on the barbie (just!)

charring on the barbie


7. Serve with chargrilled vegetables and barbecued lime wedges (squeezed over the prawns just prior to serving). Garnish with sliced chilli and sprigs of coriander and mint leaves

white plate served up
Serve your prawns with barbecued lime or lemon pieces. Squeeze the juice over the skewers just prior to eating. Enak sekali!



This recipe marks our last blog post for 2016!
So, it is with much gratitude that we say ‘thank you’ for sharing in our first year of blogging.

We wish you and your families a happy and safe festive period and we will be back in the New Year with more tales and adventures from Jakarta.

Until then, take care 🙂

Ps: If you need some more ajb inspiration for your summertime menu, check out these links below!

Jeruk Bali, goats cheese and pearl couscous salad
Recipes for easy entertaining (including hummus and fruit punch)
Quick and easy Asian-inspired noodle salad


Words: Jo   Photography: a journey bespoke




    • ajourneybespoke says

      Hello there Jo Ann, lovely to hear from you. For this recipe I bought our prawns from Ranch Market in Kemang. So far, our experience with the seafood and fish from Ranch has been a positive one. I also know that some friends buy their fish (especially salmon) from a shop called Indoguna in Kebayoran Baru. Although I haven’t yet visited, by all accounts it’s worth a try. Good luck and keep in touch 🙂

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