Classic Prawn Cocktail – a much loved favourite, just without the carbs!

prawn cocktail

You may or may not know that the ‘Marie Rose’, or ‘Cocktail Sauce’ which accompanies a prawn-cocktail was first created by Fanny Cradock in the 1960s. Her original sauce was made from tomatoes, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon-juice and pepper. Subsequent versions have been simplified to just tomato-ketchup and mayonnaise, which is now the standard version used.

Ketchup contains sugar, which is ‘off limits’ to diabetics and those on a ketogenic diet. My version of this classic therefore substitutes the ketchup for tomato purée. This makes it low-carb but every bit as delicious.

To make the sauce, take two heaped tablespoons of mayonnaise and squeeze in a good tablespoon of lemon-juice. Grind in black pepper, then add a teaspoon of tomato-purée. Mix the ingredients thoroughly until smooth. Next stir in half of your prawns, keeping the rest aside to garnish.

Form a bed of lettuce in your salad-bowl. Inch-length chunks of celery laid on top of this add a pleasing textural variation. Quickly drizzle vinaigrette or olive-oil over the leaves, then spoon your prawns-in-sauce all over the salad. Arrange the remaining prawns at intervals across the surface, keeping the tails-on for decoration.

Sprinkle a few cubes of feta over the dish and finally shave a flourish of deliciously-salty parmesan over the top. A good squeeze of lemon sees the dish complete!

Prawn-cocktail must be the ultimate late-twentieth-century starter; one that time has been unable to diminish. If you haven’t had it for a while, then try it as above. You’ll soon be reminded what’s kept the dish so universally popular for the last 50 years!

Thanks for reading and bon ap!



One thought on “Classic Prawn Cocktail – a much loved favourite, just without the carbs!

  1. To be honest with you, I only ever make a single portion at a time, which I do with my own paleo mayo, and home-made tomato ketchup. The amount of sugar is negligible in the end, because it’s an infrequent dish… my H has lost over two stone (call it 30lbs) and has kicked his DT2 to the kerb… he no longer takes medication and his overall diet is really good. The odd teaspoonful of sugar here and there doesn’t really show up on his radar. And with sugar substitutes like Sukrin and stevia, which have far less of an after-taste than other artificial sweeteners, all is not lost….


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