What do I do with live spot prawns?

Excited to pick up your live spot prawns, but a bit terrified about what to do with them? No problem! Handling and processing spot prawns is actually quite simple. At our member prawn pick-ups, we’ll have demonstrations and workshops about how to process your prawns. But in the meantime, here are some tips to keep in mind!

Your live spot prawns will have just come out of the water a few hours before the pick-up. They will be jumping and wriggling about in their crates! Bring a cooler with a small ice pack if you can. We’ll weigh your prawns and put them straight into your cooler. Otherwise, we can put them into a plastic bag for you. Keep them cool and get them home within a couple of hours.

Be careful about putting your prawns in ice — if the ice melts and the prawns are submerged in tap water, they will quickly die. A small amount of ice or an ice pack works great.

It’s important that you don’t allow your prawns to die and to sit for any length of time with their heads still attached. All prawns and shrimp release an enzyme from their heads when they die which spreads into their flesh and causes them to blacken and turn mushy. The best way to ensure the highest quality prawn meat is to either cook them live with their head on or remove their heads while still alive. To do this, firmly grip the head and body, twist and pull, and the head will come off easily. We’re happy to demonstrate this at our pick-ups!

After the heads have been removed from your live prawns, rinse the tails under cold water. Spot prawn tails this fresh can be safely eaten raw! But you also have a number of other options.

Throw the tails onto the BBQ for just a minute or two per side, or sauté them it a little butter and white wine for a couple of minutes. Once cooked the shells can easily be peeled off the meat.

You can also peel the prawns before cooking them. Start where the legs are and peel the hard shells off the tails. It’s best to peel them if you are planning to put them into a sauce or mixed in a dish where you don’t want your guests to have to fish the prawns out with their fingers.

Coming to our live spot prawn pick ups is a fun, festive experience for the whole family! You’ll take home an incredibly premium product and your friends and family will be so impressed! But if all this talk of dealing with live prawns has you a bit squeamish, never fear! Our prawner, Scott Lincez will also be de-heading prawns immediately after catching them and flash-freezing them in sea water right on the boat. These frozen tails will be available at all our pick-ups as well and most people would never taste the difference!

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4 thoughts on “What do I do with live spot prawns?

    • Absolutely! The entire animal is good to eat. Some folks love to deep fry whole spot prawns and eat the entire animal including shells and you can suck the flavourful juices out of the heads no matter how you prepare them. Enjoy!

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