Prawn Head Pepper Soup

There are many lessons a girl learns from her mother – how to use prawn heads is arguably one of the best of them. You might scoff and say ‘really’? And I might smile back gently and say ‘Yes, really’. See flavour is not to be underrated, and if like me, you’d rather derive yours naturally, this is one way. One way to distill the essence of the sea and put it in a dish.


And you might learn a few things in the process. Like

  1. Don’t throw the heads of your shrimps or prawns away – ever
  2. Rinse the heads well and use immediately
  3. Strain, strain, strain or your soup will be a day at the beach. And you don’t want that, trust me

Whenever I buy prawns/ shrimps, I keep the heads.

I rinse them in salty, lemony water and then I do one or two things.

Sometimes, I deep fry and eat them with gusto. Lawd – this is one of the best things ever. Other times, I blend with water and strain away the shelly bits. Even other times, I roast in the oven and then blend. Either way, the stock is reserved for food, for soup.


One could make a delightful seafood okro, or a creamy seafood soup – pepper soup or a chowder-like one.

This time, I roasted the prawn heads with salt, chilies and some oil. Once cooked, of which the evidence was a change in colour and the taking on of crunch, I reserved a few to serve and I blended the rest with some water to make a ‘stock’. You could blend with white wine, champange to make a richer liquid. 

This got strained and reserved for soup.


One evening, back from work, I cut up and boiled some chunks of yam. When they were cooked through, I started on my soup.

And then I got down to making my pepper soup, with the prawn stock, coconut milk, pepper soup spice and some dried scent leaves.


In a pan, toast about half a teaspoon of pepper soup spice mix, then add the prawn stock and coconut milk. Taste and season with salt, ground crayfish and dried red chili powder- or fresh if you like.


Let simmer slowly for 5 – 10 minutes, then add the dried scent leaves, boiled yam and reserved prawn heads.


Let warm through and then serve. 


Enjoy the richness of the Atlantic, in your warm cosy dining room, walls painted Palladium.

Palladium is a chemical element with symbol Pd and atomic number 46. It is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston. He named it after the asteroid Pallas, which was itself named after the epithet of the Greek goddess Athena, acquired by her when she slewPallas. Palladium, platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium form a group of elements referred to as the platinum group metals (PGMs). These have similar chemical properties, but palladium has the lowest melting point and is the least dense of them; Wikipedia

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