Prawns are sold either uncooked (green) or ready-to-it (cooked). The cooked (ready-to-eat) prawns’ species will vary in colour from light pinkish – to dark orange-red (wild-caught and farmed also vary in colour as farmed prawns are generally & naturally lighter in colour).
Green prawns come both fresh and frozen (but most commonly frozen and thawed for your convenience) ask your retailer if these are fresh or frozen as it is not recommended to re-freeze thawed prawns.
Well managed frozen prawns can be every bit as delightful as fresh prawns
and in some cases they can even be fresher – as larger vessels catch-cook-and freeze onboard.
To keep that locked-in delicious sea taste when thawing your frozen prawns (both cooked & green) it is recommended to swim the product in a light brine (salty iced water). Add sea salt to a tub of icy water, taste it, and when you think it tastes like the sea toss in your frozen prawns to thaw.
HOW TO BUY PRAWNS – WHAT TO LOOK FOR!
The prawns should have a soft seafood smell with a mild smell of the sea, they should be in visually good condition (without any physical damage or bruising) their shells should be firm and have that clear – shiny ‘just caught look’. Avoid product that has discolouration or dryness and any unnatural residue or slime on the surface. Some prawn species have a naturally dark head such as Endeavour Prawns or may have been on a feeding frenzy just
before being caught and will have a lot of coloured substance in their head. But generally prawns that have a very dark black head are to be avoided as they may have been treated with metabisulphite (A group of compounds used as food and drug preservatives that is known to evoke a severe allergic response in sensitive individuals. Reputable retailers avoid using such enhancers / chemicals.