prawn cocktail

  • serves 6
  • Easy

As inherently British as cream teas and pork pies, this classic starter remains a firm favourite on smart menus everywhere. Boxwood Café shares its briliant recipe. Berkeley Hotel, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London SW1 (020 7235 1010; gordonramsay.com/boxwoodcafe).



  • egg yolk
  • white wine vinegar 1 tbsp
  • English mustard 1/2 tbsp
  • vegetable oil 250ml
  • tomato ketchup 3 tbsp
  • Worcestershire sauce 1/2 tsp
  • brandy 1 tsp
  • cayenne pepper
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • baby gem lettuces 2, shredded
  • cooked peeled prawns 75g
  • lemon wedges and buttered brown bread  to serve 


  • Step 1

    Whisk together the egg yolk, white wine vinegar and english mustard in a large bowl using electric beaters. Slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil, whisking all the time, until all the oil is used up and you have a mayonnaise. Speed freaks can start with 250ml good bought mayo (try one made with organic eggs for best flavour).

  • Step 2

    Stir into the mayo tomato ketchup, worcestershire sauce and brandy. Season with a little cayenne pepper, lemon juice and salt (add more ketchup for a sweeter sauce).

    Shred the baby gem lettuces and arrange in pretty glasses. Pile the cooked peeled prawns into each glass then generously spoon the cocktail sauce over. sprinkle with a little more cayenne pepper and serve with lemon wedges and buttered brown bread.