Prawns are often coupled with negative comments because of their primary function,
but they are undoubtedly one of the tastiest, most versatile foods to prepare. They add a
much-needed pop of colour to any meal and dinner table but they’re also super
nutritious and loaded with vitamins. An 85g serving of boiled or steamed prawns
contains approximately 22g of protein and 100g of calories, comparable to a similar
serving of chicken. Their high Vitamin E content slows down the appearance of facial
wrinkles and naturally results in clearer skin.
With a plethora of different species and found in both the sea and freshwater, tiger
prawns are one of the most exotic and delicious species of prawns. They commonly
have a narrow, tapering body, curled tail, and extra-long antennae. Covered in a fragile
exoskeleton, all the different types of prawns have ten legs. In their raw state, they
appear bluish or grey or almost translucent in smaller varieties. Blanched or cooked,
their shells turn a bright pink or coral, and the sweet flesh is white with a pink hue. They
are highly sensitive to overcooking, so flash-frying or blanching is essential.
Similar to other crustacea, prawns found in cold waters are often more flavourful than
those from warmer waters.
Fresh prawns, raw or cooked should have a fresh, clean fishy smell and look glassy/wet.
Prawns that appear dry or bruised should be avoided at all costs.
We’ve discussed the tiger or king prawns being the larger and succulent variants, and
these are the types most commonly sold raw with their heads removed. As with all
shellfish, prawns rapidly turn stale, so always maintain the cold chain and store them in
the fridge in their original packaging or in an airtight container. Consume within 24
hours of purchasing. Frozen prawns should be treated with the same caution: once
thawed, consume immediately or freeze shortly after purchase.
Prawn Curry in Oriyan style
How to clean:
Hold the body of the prawn firmly, twist the head off with your free hand.
Lie the prawn on its back and pry the shell open along the length of its stomach until the prawn pops free.
Once the shell is removed, look for a dark green or black line (the intestine) running down the back of the prawn. While there are no issues consuming it, it’s best to remove it as it can be quite bitter. This is known as deveining and you just need a small, paring knife to slide the vein upwards and lift it out.
Prawn shells need not be removed completely – it all depends on the type of dish you’ll be preparing.
So are prawns premium? Of course, they are! Who doesn’t love their earthy, fleshy, and sweet flavour…perfect in our spicy lemon butter grilled prawns!