Prawn Cocktail (with tinned prawns)

Location: Wolverhampton
Era: 1960s

We didn’t have much seafood when we were in Wales by the sea. My mum would cook fish, and we’d have fish and chips from the chip shop. The absolute thing for special occasions was prawn cocktail in a small glass bowl with prawns out of a tin. You’d serve the prawn cocktail on a bed of lettuce with a squeeze of lemon and maybe some salad cream. If you couldn’t afford many prawns, you’d have more lettuce! You can still get them today, prawns in a tin with brine. Prawns only really started to be eaten in the fifties. Another delicacy for sandwiches for tea on Christmas Day was tinned salmon.”
Vivien Small


  • One can of tinned prawns in brine
    (or fresh/frozen prawns)
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Cress
  • Mayonnaise or Salad Cream (or Seafood Sauce)
  • Paprika
  • Lemon slices


Drain the prawns and put into a bowl with the sauce of your choice. Mix to coat the prawns.
Finely slice the lettuce and put in the bottom of a glass serving dish.

Spoon the prawn mixture on to the lettuce.

Add a cherry tomato and few slices of cucumber, plus a few pieces of cress.

Dust very slightly with paprika and serve with a slice of lemon.