Sam Mannering's Adobo Prawns with Blue Corn Tortillas

Prep time 30mins
cook time 30-40mins

Sam Mannering is a food writer, chef and restauranteur to name a few of his skills and happens to be a willing contributor to our Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook developed with New Zealand chefs and cooks in mind. He was first given a Lodge pan as a fourteen year old for Christmas and uses it still. 

"Recipes like these are the reason I have frozen prawns in the freezer. Of course, marinating them before time is preferable, but not completely essential if you’re disorganised and/or lazy as I often tend to be. Prawns should only be cooked hard and fast, which is why a Lodge skillet works well as it easily tolerates a high heat. That gets you a bit of lovely caramelisation on the outside.

Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce are a useful little flavour base - La Morena is the most commonly available brand - the peppers are whole, so give them a little bit of a blitz up and then store them in the fridge to use as you fancy."



  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cups masa harina (blue corn flour)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Oil for frying

  • Prawns:

  • 1 large red onion
  • finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • finely chopped
  • Large handful of coriander plus stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp of chipotle sauce to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes and a few more to serve
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 800g raw peeled prawns
  • Olive oil



    1. In a dry pan over a moderate heat, combine the sea salt and cumin seeds and toast lightly for several minutes until fragrant. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a bit before crushing into a rough powder with a pestle and mortar.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the masa harina with the cumin and salt mix, create a well in the centre, and add the warm water. Mix into a soft, consistent dough - add a little more water if it seems a little dry. Shape into a sort of flattened discus and cut into four equal quarters, then halve each quarter. Roll each into a ball and then roll out thinly into roughly 15cm diameter rounds.
    3. Heat a 20cm Lodge skillet over a moderately high heat. Add a tiny brush of oil and gently cook the tortillas for a few minutes on both sides, keeping them warm wrapped up in a clean tea towel as you finish the rest. These will reheat well.

    "Making your own tortillas are one of those fatal turning points, a bit like flying business class. I’m always astonished at the difference. There’s a little bit of work required, but it’s absolutely worth it and makes anything else by comparison seem woefully inadequate. Blue corn is highly valued, for it’s sweet flavour. It is increasingly available in supermarkets - Tio Pablo is the one to look out for. Lodge pans are excellent for this sort of thing because they maintain a consistent and evenly distributed heat. Keep them warm in a tea towel as you finish the rest."


    1. In a mixing bowl, combine the red onion, coriander, chipotle, cumin seeds, lime zest and juice, together with enough salt and pepper to taste - season bravely. Add the prawns and rub the mix into them well. Cover and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight if you have time.
    2. Remove from the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature for 30 minutes before you want to cook them.
    3. Get a nice large skillet going over a fairly high heat. Add a glug of olive oil and let it heat up nice and hot, and then add the prawns, in batches if necessary. Don’t overcrowd the pan. You want a good sizzle to get a bit of caramelisation. Once they’re done - a few minutes max - remove from the pan and taste and season with more salt and pepper. Throw in the extra chopped coriander, squeeze over a bit more lime juice, and serve alongside the tortillas whilst still warm.