per­fect prawns

A favourite for sum­mer get-to­geth­ers, prawns make an easy starter or main. Sim­ple to pre­pare, they're de­li­cious, and good for you too, packed with pro­tein, iron, zinc and vi­ta­min E.

The Australian Women's Weekly - - Contents -

TIGER PRAWNS There are a num­ber of dif­fer­ent types – green, black, blue, giant, panda, brown and Ja­panese. Some are farmed, oth­ers are wild. They have dis­tinc­tive grey, blue or black stripes. Their medium-sweet, firm moist flesh holds to­gether well and is par­tic­u­larly good grilled. Avail­able year-round.

KING PRAWNS “King” refers to the species and can be large, medium or small. Un­cooked shells are lightly pink with a blue iri­des­cence on the tail. When cooked, the tex­ture is ro­bust and the flavour is rich. King prawns are good in full-flavoured dishes like paella, stir-fries and cur­ries and also per­fect grilled.

Mainly wild-caught, king prawns peak from Fe­bru­ary to June.

SCHOOL PRAWNS They have a sweet flesh and a short stor­age life. Tiny school prawns are gen­er­ally cooked and eaten whole, shell and all (al­though many pre­fer to re­move the heads). They are best suited to deep-fry­ing, stir-fry­ing or steam­ing and are avail­able year-round, with peak sea­son over sum­mer.

SCAMPI Also called Dublin Bay prawns, these are ac­tu­ally part of the lob­ster fam­ily and taste more like lob­ster than prawn. A lux­ury wild-caught seafood, their del­i­cate and sweet meat re­quires care­ful cook­ing or it be­comes mushy. The meat is all in the tail and the yield is low.

YABBIES Yabbies in­habit streams and dams and are a species of fresh­wa­ter cray­fish. The meat is mainly in the tail and yields 25 per cent of the to­tal weight. Yabbies are sweet in flavour and are ex­cel­lent steamed, grilled or pan­fried. You can buy them live or cooked.

BA­NANA PRAWNS A medium-sized prawn with mildly sweet, moist and ten­der flesh. With a thin pale yel­low­ish shell, this prawn is both farmed and wild-caught. Avail­able year-round, with peak sup­ply April to May, the ba­nana prawn’s del­i­cate flavour makes it ideal for lighter-flavoured dishes.

BLACK TIGER PRAWNS See Tiger prawns.

COOKED KING PRAWNS See King prawns.

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