Cooking Spot Prawns at Home

Tue, 05/31/2016
Fish 411

The arrival of spot prawn season is always eagerly anticipated here in BC. For two glorious months in May and June, we have live wild BC spot prawns available in store. These sweet, succulent local prawns are a real treat!

We always recommend purchasing them live to take home, as there’s a ton of flavour in spot prawn heads. Note that you’ll need to consume them within 12 hours if you do take them home live. When left intact for more than 12 hours, spot prawns will spoil as they release an enzyme that turns their bodies black and their meat soft. A big pot of boiling water and a steady hand are what you’ll need to cook live spot prawns at home. Tip your prawns into a pot of water that has reached a rolling boil—one to two minutes of total cooking time is all it takes. If you aren’t eating them right away, remove them from the pot and immediately chill them in an ice-water bath to stop the cooking process. Serve them cold with cocktail sauce, or hot with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, chopped green onion, and slivered ginger. Spot prawns are also delicious fried up in a wok with fresh veggies and a sauce of your choosing.

If the thought of cooking live spot prawns makes you a bit squeamish, we’ll happily remove the heads for you in store. Taking them home this way gives you up to 24 hours to cook and eat them. Our spot prawn cooking suggestions are the same with heads on or off.

One small tip we can offer is to avoid peeling your spot prawns until after you have cooked them. Because our live prawns are so fresh, their shells cling to the meat until they’ve been cooked. It is possible to remove the shells prior to cooking, but it isn’t a fun task since spot prawns shells are rather sharp around the edges. Also, keeping the shell on during the  cooking process traps all the flavour underneath the shell and adds depth of flavour.