Green prawns have a greenish tint when they are fresh but slowly change colour and become a bright pink while cooked. They have briny, fresh, and sweet flavour. Starting from Greenland to South America, green prawns one of the most widely available types of seafood in the world. Different species of prawns are found in the brackish, salty waters of the sea while some of the other species are found in the fresh lakes and rivers. The sizes vary from very tiny ones that are normally made as prawn pastes to huge varieties as big as some young lobsters.
More Information on Green Prawns
As you probably know, there are hundreds of varieties of prawn species all over the world. The ones that are found in Australia are quite strong and sweet, and are quite popular among seafood lovers. Among the Australian varieties, the Tiger Prawns and King Prawns are very popular for their taste and appearance.
Since the prawn meat spoils quickly, these are normally frozen and cooked. In ships and voyages, green prawns are caught and cooked right away. Raw prawns sold in the market are called green prawns.
Various Species of Green Prawns
- Tiger Prawns – These are one of the main varieties found in Australian aquaculture and these are bluish green or pale brown in colour with unique grey, black, or blue stripes in the body.
- King Prawns – These green prawns have a light brown to cream colour body and are slightly bigger than the tiger species of prawns. The tailfins and legs of these prawns are bright blue or cream in colour.
- Red Spot Prawns -These are a variety of King Prawns, which are smaller and have red spots on either side of the shell of the body.
- Banana Prawns – These prawns are yellow in colour, or at times translucent with small dark spots.
- Bay Prawns -These have a transparent brown or green body with green tips at the end of the tails and brown speckling.
- Endeavour Prawns – These have a pink or pale brown body with bright red or blue edge in their tails.
Fresh Green Prawns and Health
Research shows that green prawns provide a lot of health-related benefits to the body and can help to control cholesterol absorption in the body. Prawns can be an amazing low fat and low-calorie ingredient to include in a healthy diet. They also supply a good amount of protein to the body and have omega-3, which is said to be a good fat in preventing heart disease and increasing blood circulation. The presence of vitamin V12, phosphorous, selenium, iodine and iron also makes prawns a great meal choice. So not only are they delicious, but they’re good for you too!
How to Buy Prawns
Since prawns are quickly perishable, they are often sold in frozen or boiled state. However, cooked prawns, when reheated, can become very hard. That is why it is important to find a good place, such as Claringbold’s, where you get green prawns or raw prawns.
When buying raw prawns, check the heads and shells to see if they are well attached to the body and have a good sheen. It is essential to make sure the prawn is not oxidized and this can be identified by the black circles around the legs and heads of the green prawns. Also, check for the fresh sea smell. When you buy green prawns with the shells still on, only about 50% of them are edible, so buy double the quantity of how much you propose to cook if your recipe is asking for unshelled prawns.
How to Prepare Prawns for Cooking
Usually, it is only very small prawns that are eaten whole. Otherwise, only the body of the green prawns is eaten after carefully removing the shell, legs and head. Also, make sure you remove the digestive pipe of the prawn that runs through the entire back portion. Butterfly Prawns are normally peeled and split down the back with the tail intact and flattened out.
Green prawns do not need a long cooking process. Prawns must never be overcooked. This is because, even after you remove them from the heat, they still cook with the residual heat. Prawns that are perfectly cooked taste very juicy and sweet, while prawns that are overcooked can be very dry and tasteless.
Green prawns, when cooked, are great additions to sandwiches, salads, pasta or risotto. Or they are great by themselves just with a dipping sauce. Avoid heating cooked prawns alongside other ingredients, as cooked prawn hardens when reheated.
Although they’re an Aussie Christmas classic, prawns are found in recipes across the globe.
From the famous prawn cocktail to French Bisques to Vietnamese Sugar Can Prawns, they’re not lacking in versatility. Try them in a Paella, a stir-fry, or even just shelled and dipped in tartare sauce.