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Cooked Prawns 101: A Gourmet Guide

Boiled at sea immediately after capture, cooked prawns boast an opaque, pale orange flesh, offering a unique taste and firm texture. Tiger prawns, with their large size and distinctive grey, blue, or black stripes turning red when cooked, are available year-round, reaching their flavour peak from late summer to mid-autumn.

In terms of health benefits, prawns are a nutritional powerhouse. They are rich in protein, making them an excellent source of iron, zinc, and vitamin E. Prawns also contain heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids. When prepared using healthy cooking methods such as grilling, steaming, or stir-frying, and paired with “good” fats like olive oil, they become a low-fat and low-saturated fat option.

Prawns can transform your dishes into extraordinary culinary delights. If you’re opting for a simple serving, a squeeze of lemon or a dipping sauce is all you need to accompany cooked prawns. However, for a more adventurous prawn experience, you can try grilling them. This will give them a delightful caramelisation and sweetness, while stir-frying offers a quick and fuss-free option. Steaming, on the other hand, allows the natural flavours of the seafood to shine through without excessive use of oil.

Tiger prawns can be showcased in diverse ways. Serve them whole with mayonnaise or aioli to highlight their dramatic colour, or add them to soups where their firm flesh holds together beautifully. BBQing is a perfect summer cooking method, and skewering prawns before grilling adds a wow-factor and ease of eating when entertaining. Stir-frying, with a sweet, sticky sauce or a zingy Asian-inspired marinade, provides a simple weeknight dinner option when paired with rice, noodles, veggies, or a salad. Prawns’ firm texture and sweetness make them ideal for poaching in soups, such as Laksa, or as the foundational flavour in a delectable traditional seafood bisque.

Whether you prefer the simplicity of a lemon-squeezed prawn dish or the more elaborate grilling, stir-frying, or steaming options, cooked prawns stand out as a versatile and healthy addition to your culinary repertoire.