PRAWN PREPARATION & COOKING TIPS

We passionately believe that any recipe featuring prawns should prioritise ease and enjoyment. That's why we strongly advocate for using shelled prawns, already prepared, and ready to savour. The pleasure of eating should never be hindered by the chore of peeling!

The exception to this rule? Cooked prawns served shell-on have their rightful place when delightfully clustered in a plate of fruits de mer or charred to perfection over an open flame. In these instances, the shell helps enhance the flavour and offers a rustic, hands-on culinary experience.

PREPARATION

With the exception of blue belly shrimp that are a small species, all the prawns that we sell are Large to XXXL. This makes them meaty, easy to peel and fantastic to eat.

Defrost the prawns in a colander in the fridge overnight, with a plate or bowl underneath to catch any excess liquid. 

Remove the shells by holding a prawn by the body with one hand, and twist the head off with the other. Working from the underside, starting at the head end of the prawn peel the first three sections of outer shell away.

As you work you way to the tail, hold the last tail section in your fingers and remove the last 2 body sections next to it. Leaving the tail shell on is nice for presentation - also it offers you an easy way to eat the prawn with your fingers if so required. 

Prawn shells are an essential ingredient to make a great bisque or to make a base sauce for pasta. We demonstrate this in our Langoustine bisque recipe which is very easy follow, just substitute the langoustine shells with prawns shells and it can be frozen down for later use. Check out the RECIPE.

Once you have peeled all the prawns they can be deveined in two ways. With fish tweezers, grab the vein at the end end and gently pull it out, or with a small sharp knife make small an 2mm incision along the back of the prawn and gently open the flesh out to remove the vein. Rinse if needed but it is always better not to. Rest the prepared prawns on kitchen paper for 20 minutes prior to cooking so they are nice and dry.   

CEVICHE

For a good ceviche, dice the raw, fully peeled prawns and marinate them for 20 minutes in a mixture of lemon juice, lime zest, fresh chopped chilli, and chopped coriander. Mix with chopped cherry tomatoes, avocado and peeled chopped cucumber for a fresh and delicious starter or light sunny day lunch. 

Works best with Gambero Rossa / Obsiblue / Carabineros / Denia 

GARLIC PRAWNS

This classic and delicious dish is often served in the Mediterranean and is ideal for sharing.

For two people as a appetiser or light supper you will need:

  • 3-4 XL Prawns - raw and shell off. (We recommend cutting the prawns into pieces to make it easier to scoop them up with bread. However, you can leave them whole if preferred).
  • 125g of unsalted butter
  • 1 whole garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Handful of chopped parsley 
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh Baguette to serve

Preheat your oven to 180°C. The first step is to infuse the butter with garlic. Heat the butter and sliced garlic on the stove in a terracotta or stonewear dish with a touch of sea salt. Once the garlic is fragrant, cut the prawns into three pieces and add in and cover the dish. Place the dish in the oven for 7 minutes. Finish with chopped parsley and serve with bread. Serving with plenty of bread is a must, as you will want it to mop up the delicious butter!

Works best with Gambero Rossa / Obsiblue / Carabineros / Wild King Prawns / Shark Bay

ROASTED PRAWNS

This can be done two ways. You can either leave the shell on and cook the prawns on the BBQ or remove the shell and cook them in a pan. If you are planning to add the prawns to a seafood linguine or serve them in a surf and turf, you would want the shell off method. There are slight variations in the method, amounts, and types of ingredients you would use, which are explained in detail below.

BBQ - Shell on

In almost all cases prawns are better served shell off but in the case of bbq/open flame cooking, the shells are better left on to add flavour to the the prawns and to protect the flesh from overcooking.  

Create a marinade for the prawns by mixing a small amount of olive oil, sliced garlic and dried chilli (optional) we recommend Rings of Fire. Let the prawns marinate in the fridge for 24 hours. The cooking time of the prawns will depend on their size. Always place the prawns on the cooler side of the BBQ and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a serving dish and add fresh parsley and a caramelised lemon wedge (see image below) along with a dip bowl for fingers.

PAN ROASTED - Shell off

To create a marinade for the prawns, take a bowl and combine a generous amount of olive oil, chopped garlic, and chopped chilli. Although the chilli is optional, we recommend using fresh chopped chilli in this method for best results. Marinade the prawns in the fridge for 3-4 hours. Because the shell is off, the flesh will absorb the marinade quicker and less time is needed. Heat a pan until it is nice and hot and then throw in the full contents of the bowl. You won't need any additional olive oil as the generous amount added to the marinade is sufficient. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, and cook the prawns in batches if necessary. The prawns should be cooked for 2-3 minutes until they get a nice bit of colour but are not overcooked. Finish the dish with fresh parsley and add it to a pasta dish or serve it alone.

PANKO STYLE 

Works best with Shark Bay / Obsiblue 

Preparation: For delicious canapés peel the prawns using the above method leaving the tail section on. For this you will need a deep fat fryer set at 180°c or a deep saucepan with neutral oil like sunflower oil or vegetable oil , and a temperature probe. 

For the prawns:

  • 1kg prawns, peeled, tail on, deveined
  • 100g seasoned plain flour 
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 300g panko breadcrumbs 

For the dip:

Combine equal quantities of 

  • Lime Juice
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sweet Chilli Sauce. (If you like you can strain the Sweet Chilli Sauce for a completely clear dip).

To prepare the prawns, you will need three wide bottomed bowls: one for flour, one for lightly whisked eggs, and one for panko breadcrumbs. Dip each prawn in the flour, then the egg mixture, and finally the breadcrumbs, making sure it is thoroughly coated. (If you haven't got three wide bowls you can use plates for the flour and the breadcrumbs). Place the coated prawns on a clean plate and repeat for all of the prawns. 

Fry the prawns in a deep fat fryer until they are golden brown, which usually takes around 3-4 minutes. Depending on the size of your fryer, you can fry about 7-8 prawns at a time. If you haven't got a deep fat fryer and want to use a pan, you need to make sure you maintain a consistent temperature for at least two or three minutes before putting the prawns in, don't be tempted to turn to the heat up! Use a temperature probe to check.