26 Nov How to Prepare and Cook Whole Prawns
A step by step guide to ensure the fresh prawns you buy, are ready and safe to eat.
- Prepping your prawns
Once you have purchased your fresh prawns, remove all the shells, as well as the head, in order to make eating the prawns easier. However, you can leave the shells and head of the prawns on as this will help retain flavour and moisture.
TIP: To remove the heads: Hold the prawn head, near the eyes, in one hand, the body in the other, twist and pull. Discard them OR use them to make a delicious seafood stock.
To remove shell: First, pull off the legs of the fresh prawn and peel back the shell using your thumb & forefinger. You may leave the tail on to use as a bit of a “handle” when eating by hand, however, it is recommended to remove them if using the prawns in a larger dish.
- Removing the vein
Using a small knife. Make a small cut down the centre of the back of the prawn to locate a long black vein. Once you have found the vein, lift it with the tip of your knife and then grab it with your fingers and pull it out. This step can be done with as well as without the shell.
Note: This step is not strictly necessary, however, the vein has a very bitter taste and may affect the overall taste of your dish.
- Rinse your prawns.
Under a cold tap, rinse the prawns thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel.
Tip: Additional moisture on the outside of the prawns may cause them to cook unevenly, however, if you dry them after rinsing, you can avoid this.
Tip: To store your prawns before cooking, i.e. you’re not cooking them straight away, place them in a bowl of ice or put them in the fridge, this will help keep them fresh.