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from: Southern Africa | cooking method: broiling-grilling

LM Prawns

Look at a map, and you won't find any city named Lourenço Marques (the Mozambican city is now known as Maputo); but look at a restaurant menu in South Africa and you might find Lourenco Marques Prawns, much better known as LM Prawns or Prawns Mozambique. Prawns from the waters off Mozambique, famous for their large size and delicious flavor, became a favorite of South Africans on holiday visiting Mozambique when it was a Portuguese colony. LM Prawns are most often marinated in a peri-peri merinade and grilled.

Polona hotel, Mozambique.  LM Prawns, anyone?

What you need per serving

What you do

Another way to cook Mozambique's famous prawns is called Prawns Naçionale and is made by marinating the prawns in beer, bay leaf, cilantro, butter, lard, lemon juice, salt, and, of course, peri-peri.

Prawns and shrimp The word prawn is used to mean different things in different parts of the world. Sometimes prawns are a sort of miniture lobsters. Sometimes prawns are a sort of freshwater shrimp (and the word shimp is used to refer to saltwater species). Lastly, prawns are especially large shrimp, the kind that take 15 (or fewer) to make a pound. It is these prawns, "jumbo shrimp", that should be used to make LM Prawns.


Nick Middleton

Mozambique had been famous for her prawns

Kalashnikovs and Zombie Cucumbers: Travels in Mozambique by Nick Middleton (London: Phoenix/Orion, 1994) is an account of travel in Mozambique in the early 1990s, including this about LM Prawns:

. . . Mozambique had been famous for her prawns, which were reputedly as large as you could imagine. They were still available in Maputo restaurants, but their size was not a patch on the old days. . . .

A landmark in the dawn of the new age came in mid-1992 when Maputo's Polona Hotel was officially reopened. . . .

An insensitive press release issued by the hotel management to mark the occasion suggested that Karos Hotels of South Africa were expecting a return to the pre-independence days when the Polona stood on the Rua A. W. Bayly: 'South Africans will again be able to sip sundowners on the patio of the Polona overlooking the warm Indian ocean with its palm-fringed shores', the statement read. 'LM Prawns' and abundant fresh fish 'cooked in traditional Portuguese style' were offered as irresistible attractions. The 'LM' of the prawns referred to Lourenço Marques, as if seventeen years of independence counted for nothing.
[The Colonial Themepark]


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