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Harissa Prawns Moroccan Influenced Garlic Shrimp

Harissa prawns with butter, garlic and sumac are a delicious, spicy, quick and easy recipe with Moroccan influences that everyone will love.

This recipe uses large tiger prawns for an extra luxurious treat and can be cooked and prepared in 15 minutes, and only 10 minutes more if you have to prepare the shrimp!

Close up Moroccan influenced garlic harissa prawns served with couscous.

Garlic Harissa Shrimp

When it comes to quick dinners seafood is a wonderful and simple option that many are intimidated by.

There is no reason for the fear, cooked quickly over a high heat and you end up with perfectly cooked seafood every time.

Prawns are one of my favourite choices, whether I am cooking bbq prawns on the grill, a quick Indian prawn curry, a speedy Thai-influenced prawn stir fry with noodles or Chinese-influenced Szechuan prawns, they are a firm favourite for me!

My latest offering leans again on spice and some Moroccan influences, these garlic harissa prawns are simply stunning.

Large shrimp cooked in lots of butter, rose harissa paste, loads of garlic and some sumac. Simplicity is often the best way to go with seafood.

The kicker, it is all done in 15 minutes if you use prepared prawns and still under half an hour if you need to prepare them yourself.

Overhead Moroccan influenced garlic harissa prawns served with couscous.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do prawn sizes mean?

There are two ways prawns and shrimp are ‘sized’. HOSO and PDTO, the first is head on shell on, the second is peeled deveined and tail on.

These are then broken down into sizes, such as 8-12 which refers to the number of prawns per pound.

Can I use smaller prawns?

Yes, but they will take less time to cook!

For instance, the size 22-24 shrimp I use in this squid ink spaghetti with shrimp recipe will take around 3 minutes to cook.

What is sumac?

It is the dried and ground berry of shrub and it is delicious. It has a wonderfully tart flavour and can be used as an ingredient in cooking and sprinkled on top of food as you would with salt.

Do I have to use rose harissa?

No, regular harissa will work well too! I like the floral tones of rose harissa and I use one made by Belazu if you want to steer in a direction.

Moroccan influenced garlic harissa prawns served with couscous.

Serving Suggestions

I like to serve those garlic harissa prawns with some simple herby buttered couscous. I also top them with some diced, deseeded tomato and even toss some green beans into the pan on occasions.

They work equally well with a classic tabbouleh salad or even some plainly cooked herby bulgur wheat.

If you wanted something a little more hearty my roasted vegetable couscous, giant couscous salad and my sweet potato tagine would compliment these shrimp perfectly.

Finally, if you are after some green veggies, think about something like this air fryer garlic asparagus or some roasted tenderstem broccoli.

Moroccan influenced garlic harissa prawns served with herby couscous, tomatoes and green beans.

Equipment Used

I only recommend specific brands of equipment if I think that it makes a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 28cm or 11″ frying pan of skillet.
  • Mixing bowl.
  • Measuring spoons.
  • Chopping board.
  • Sharp kitchen knife.
  • Paring knife if you need to prepare the prawns.
Moroccan influenced garlic harissa prawns served with herby couscous, tomatoes and green beans.
Yield: 2 Servings

Garlic Harissa Prawns Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This quick and simple garlic prawns recipe gets a glorious hit of spice with some Moroccan Harissa paste.


  • 10-12 Large (Size 8-10) Tiger Prawns
  • 1 Tbsp Rose Harissa Paste
  • 1 Tsp Sumac
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ¼ Tsp Salt
  • 25g (2 Tbsp) Butter
  • 1 Lemon to Serve


  1. Remove the heads, peel devein the prawns if they are not prepared.
  2. Peel the garlic and mash it into a paste.
  3. Add the prawns, harissa, garlic, sumac, salt and olive oil to a bowl and mix well to coat.
  4. Heat a 28cm or 11" frying pan over a high heat and add the butter.
  5. When the butter begins to foam add the prawns and saute for 5-7 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. Serve hot with a wedge of lemon.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 567Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 660mgSodium: 3331mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 71g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Jacqueline Meldrum

Thursday 8th of August 2019

Harissa adds so much flavour to dishes. I usually have a jar in the fridge, but I also make up my own dry mix and just add oil when I want to use it. I love you served it with couscous too.

Brian Jones

Friday 9th of August 2019

I love it as a fallback ingredient, it can raise even the most "humdrum" ingredients and lift them up.

Heidy L. McCallum

Thursday 8th of August 2019

Good morning, Brian! I just wanted to tell you I made this the other night and it was wonderful. Our family loves shrimp and I am always looking for healthy yet flavorful meals so this was perfect. Bookmarking to make this again!

Brian Jones

Friday 9th of August 2019

Glad you enjoyed it Heidy, it is one of our favourites :)

Jacqueline Debono

Thursday 8th of August 2019

Such a good idea to use harissa. I first tried it in Tunisia years back. I love the flavour! I love spicy prawns too and these looks so good! Couscous is a great pairing. There's a lot of North African influence in this dish!

Brian Jones

Friday 9th of August 2019

There certainly is :)


Thursday 8th of August 2019

Harrissa is one of my favourite spice blends and works so well on pretty much anything. I really like the idea of using it on prawns.

Brian Jones

Friday 9th of August 2019

It is one of my favourites too, it is such a versatile ingredient although I love anything with a bit of spice!

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