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Jamestown Prawns with Baobab-Roasted Corn Salad

Lateef Okunnu

Chef notes

Grilling over charcoal is the favored way to cook most fish and seafood in Ghana — especially along the Accra coastline where there is an abundance of fresh seafood, and up into the region alongside Lake Volta.

This recipe is inspired by my experience in Jamestown, Accra, where I watched local fishermen hauling in their catches.

Technique tip: Remember to preheat a charcoal barbecue about 30 minutes before you want to start cooking. If you are using bamboo skewers, put them in water to soak for 1 hour to prevent them burning on the barbecue.


Corn Salad
  • 1 pound heirloom cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
  • 3 ears corn, cooked, shucked and cut off the cob in long even pieces
  • 2 avocados peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small bunch coriander, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 to 2 limes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons baobab
  • 1 teaspoon hibiscus salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon alligator pepper
  • 2 pounds king prawns or tiger prawns, raw
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground or freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried shrimp powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


For the corn salad:


In a large salad bowl, combine sliced tomatoes, corn kernels, sliced avocado, thinly sliced red onion, 1/4 cup chopped coriander and press in 2 garlic cloves.


Drizzle the top with extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, baobab, hibiscus salt and alligator pepper, taste.


Toss the salad gently just until combined and serve.

For the shrimp:


Wash the prawns and remove the heads but leave the shells on for a more dramatic presentation.


Butterfly the prawns so that you create a greater surface area for your seasoning: Using a sharp knife, score down the belly and open out. This will also enable you to de-vein the prawns. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.


Put 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a bowl with all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Add the prepared prawns and gently coat them all over with the marinade. If you have time, cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to soak up the marinade.


Preheat your grill and thread the prawns onto skewers (soak the skewers in water first to prevent them from burning).


Brush the barbecue grill with some of the reserved coconut oil and also drizzle the oil over the skewers, coating each side.


Cook the shrimp on the grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.