Starters & Light meals

Bill’s prawn, fennel and watermelon salad with chilli dressing

4 as a starter
15 minutes
1 1⁄2 minutes
Wine/Spirit Pairing
Klein Constantia Riesling 2015

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  • For the dressing:
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 2 t caster sugar
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 650 g peeled watermelon, scooped with a spoon
  • Basil leaves a handful
  • Mint leaves a handful
  • Coriander leaves a handful
  • 16 raw king prawns, peeled
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • Sea salt, to taste

To make the dressing, pound the garlic with the chilli and sugar in a pestle and mortar to make a coarse paste. Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce and oil. Taste the dressing and balance the flavours as you wish with more lime juice, fish sauce or sugar. Set aside.

Finely slice the fennel, ideally with a mandolin, if you have one. Pile onto a large serving dish with the watermelon and herbs.

Set a large, non- stick frying pan on a high heat. Rub the prawns with the oil and season with sea salt, then place in the hot pan. Cook for 1 minute, then turn and cook for 30 seconds until golden on both sides. Lay the prawns on the salad, drizzle over the dressing and serve immediately.

Chef's note: “Nothing can wake up your palate and fill you with sunshine quite like an Asian salad. Opposing textures and flavours are what make this salad great. Crunchy raw vegetables, sweet juicy fruit, soft fragrant herbs and sweet prawns are all brought together with a vibrant dressing. Delicious.”

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Bill Granger

Recipe by: Bill Granger

Bill Granger is an Australian chef, restaurateur and food writer who has opened restaurants around the globe.

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