Prawns with Pesto and Couscous

Thuan Sinh Shenouda, Serves 2


18 fresh tiger prawns (shelled, tails and intestinal tract removed)

1 1/2 tbsp Mount Zero extra virgin olive oil (we recommend Arbequina)

Pinch Pink Lake Salt

1 cup pearl couscous* 

500ml boiling water or stock

4-6 tbsp Mount Zero Yuzu extra virgin olive oil

*Sometimes called gourmet couscous or Israeli couscous

For the pesto:

2 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp Pink Lake Salt

2 cups fresh basil leaves (firmly packed)*

30g pine nuts, lightly toasted

40g grated parmesan

80ml Mount Zero extra virgin olive oil (we recommend Arbequina)


  1. Make the Pesto: Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and salt together to make a smooth paste. Continue to pound as you add in the basil leaves, followed by the pine nuts and grated Parmesan. Drizzle in the olive oil and stir to mix through. Add more olive oil if the mix is not loose enough. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If you don’t have a large mortar and pestle, you can blitz everything together in a food processor (but be careful to not over blitz. The metal blades can quickly discolour the pesto and too much heat from the spinning can make your pesto bitter).

  2. Make the Pearl Couscous: Heat a large fry pan and toast the pearl couscous (dry pan, no oil) until lightly browned. Then grab a medium sized pot and add in the toasted pearl couscous, along with the boiling water or stock. Bring the pot to the boil, then immediately turn down the heat to low. Give everything a good stir, then pop on the lid and let it simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the cous cous is cooked through (about 10 minutes). Let the pot sit (lid on) for a further 10 minutes.

  3. Cook the Prawns: In a medium bowl, add in prepared prawns, oil and salt. Mix together until all the prawns are well coated in the oil. Heat a large fry pan and place half the prawns into the hot pan. Be careful not to overcrowd your pan. You will need to cook the prawns in batches. Turn the prawns as they start to curl. They are cooked when they change to their bright red colour. This does not take long. Remove prawns from the heat and set aside on a plate. You can loosely cover them with a piece of alfoil to keep them warm. Continue cooking until all your prawns are done.

  4. Assemble the Dish: In a large mixing bowl, pour in cooked couscous and carefully break them up if they have started sticking together in big chunks. Add in the pesto and mix through, making sure that you separate and evenly coat each ball of couscous. Taste and season (remember that there will some saltiness from the prawns when you add them in later). Divide the pesto couscous mix amongst 2 dinner plates. Spread the couscous onto each plate, leaving an empty channel between the couscous and the rim of the plate. Top with 9 prawn pieces evenly on top of the couscous on each plate. Drizzle a decent amount Mountain Yuzu Mount Zero Yuzu olive oil across each plate, then enjoy!
Thuan Sinh Shenouda
Thuan Sinh is an incredible home cook based in Sydney, Australia. Follow their Instagram page for loads of cooking inspiration:

Recipe Ingredients from the Mount Zero Range