How To Buy, Store And Cook Alaskan Spot Prawns

Alaska is known for its delicious seafood that ranges from King Crab to flavorful spot prawns. For those not in the know, spot prawns is another name for shrimp, but spot prawns aren't your ordinary shrimp – although, they are sometimes referred to as spot shrimp. These amazing shrimp (Pandalus platyceros) can reach sizes of up to 12 inches and are only found in the waters up the California coast to the Alaskan Aleutian Islands and in the Korean Strait and the Sea of Japan. They are prized for their exceptional, sweet flavor and texture similar to lobster.

What do spot prawns look like?

Spot prawns look similar to other types of shrimp. Their shell is a translucent tan or russet color when they are alive and turns bright pink or red when they are cooked. Spot prawns have horizontal white bars on the carapace. Their first and fifth abdominal segment also has characteristic white spots. The underside of their slender bodies has five sets of swimmerets.

How can you tell if spot prawn are fresh?

Spot prawns contain a chemical in the head that spreads to the rest of the body when it dies. This chemical causes the flesh to become soft and dark spots to appear on the outside of the prawn. While it is best to buy live prawns, if that is not an option, check to be sure that flesh is firm and has not begun to soften. Fresh prawns are typically sold with the head removed, while live prawns have the head intact. In addition, fresh prawns should smell of the ocean and have no hint of ammonia odor. The scent of ammonia is a sign that the prawns are past their prime.

How do you store prawns?

Prawns should be cooked as soon as possible after purchase, but if you must keep them fresh for a few hours, place them in a cooler on ice. Do not rinse the prawns in tap water as the chlorine in the water will kill the prawn quickly and its flesh will begin to deteriorate. If you wish to store fresh prawns for a longer time, remove their heads and clean them before storing them in the fridge on ice.

How do you cook spot prawn?

Like other seafood, it is best to cook spot prawn live as this retains the best flavor and texture. Cooking them quickly is also important. Place the prawn in boiling water and watch for the shells to change color. A bright pink or red shell is an indication that the prawns are cooked. It may take anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes to cook the prawns, depending on the number of prawns you are cooking at once.

How do you eat spot prawns?

Spot prawns can be boiled, roasted, deep fried or stir fried and uses in seafood recipes calling for shrimp. While many prefer to eat them similar to lobster with seasoned, melted butter, there is no right way to eat prawns. Try them in your favorite seafood recipes to add a boost of Alaskan seafood flavor.

How do you store leftover prawns?

According to Still Tasty, leftover cooked shrimp can be stored in the refrigerator safely for 3 to 4 days. Place them in a shallow dish and allow it to cool slightly before putting it in the refrigerator. A shallow dish allows the food to cool more quickly and reduces the risk of bacterial growth in the food. Use an airtight container and store it in the coolest section of your refrigerator. Do not eat shrimp that is discolored or gives off an odor.

Whether you prefer to eat your Alaskan spot prawns piping hot with melted butter or prefer them in other recipes, always buy them from a reputable supplier to ensure they are fresh.