Spot Prawns

I finally got my hands on some BC Spot Prawns this past weekend and they did not disappoint. My boyfriend and I made a trip down to Granville Island just to get this local delicacy and we almost went home empty handed again. Luckily we got to market within minutes of closing to purchase a couple pounds of prawns. The sweet, delicate flavour combined with its firm texture, makes them something to be desired.

Wild Spot Prawns are considered a delicacy across the globe with approximately 2,450 metric tonnes being harvested annually. Seeing as the season only lasts 4 to 8 weeks you will want to know how to purchase and cook them properly to have the most enjoyable experience.

Here are some tips on how to purchase and cook Spot Prawns. Enjoy!

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Purchasing: 

The most ideal way of purchasing Spot Prawns are choosing ones that are still alive (heads still attached). As with any seafood, you will want them to smell like the sea, if they have an overly fishy scent do not buy.

Live prawns should have a translucent colour with firm heads. If the heads are soft that means that the meat will be mushy. The heads should be free of any black spots as discolouration is a sign that the meat has started to deteriorate.

Preparing:

For the best flavour, you will want to cook your prawns immediately. If the market is some distance from your home ask for a bag of ice to be placed on top of the prawns. This will keep them fresh and prevent them from releasing an enzyme that deteriorates the meat.

If you wish to cook your prawns without their heads, carefully remove them from their bag. The nose ends are extremely sharp and pokey, so handle with care (I got attacked by one after purchasing; left a nice cut on my leg). If still lively make sure you have a good grip as they can easily jump out of your hands.

Grab the head with your dominant hand and point it downwards. Pinch and pull away from body. Continue doing this until you have achieved your desired amount.

To remove the shell turn the prawn on its back. Start by removing the legs and carefully work outwards. Take your time as you do not want to tear away any of the meat with the shell.

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Cooking:

The sweet, delicate flavour of the Spot Prawns makes it so that you do not need to do much with them while cooking. However, they are extremely easy to overcook, which turns the meat mushy. My tip is to slightly under cook your prawns as they will continue to cook once removed from the heat. This way you get perfect Spot Prawns every time.

If you wish to pan sear your prawns it only takes 30 seconds to 1 minute to cook on each side. Once the meat is a vibrant pink and no longer translucence, they are done.

Boiling them takes a bit more time, but not by much.

  1. Begin by bring slightly salted water to a rolling boil.
  2.  Add sliced ginger and green onion to your pot and let simmer for 1 minute.
  3.  Add your prawns and let simmer for 2 minutes.
  4.  Quickly remove your prawns from the boiling water and strain.
  5.  Enjoy alone or beside a salad and rice.

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