Succulent prawns from the NPF are snap frozen at sea, then thawed for your convenience at the supermarket, so don’t refreeze your Banana Prawns at home. The best place to store your prawns is in the coldest part of the fridge – low down and wrapped well to avoid contact with other food.
How much to buy?
- Allow approx 300-400g (with shells) per person when buying Banana Prawns for groups of 3 or more.
- When peeled, you can expect a ratio of about 45% delicious prawn meat to 55% shells and heads.
- If you have a family member who really loves prawns, or if you are buying for 2, allow 500g (in shell) per person.
If you are really keen, have an esky or insulated cold pack with you. When you are purchasing your prawns, ask the merchant for some ice to take with you to keep them cool. Otherwise just make sure you don’t leave them outside a cool environment for longer than 2 hours.
Peeling your prawns
Peeling prawns is quick and easy. It is slightly easier to peel a cooked prawn rather than a “green” or uncooked prawn, but if you follow these simple steps, it should be fast and fun. Make sure you have a bowl and a plastic bag or second bowl (for the shells) by a sink in order to rinse your peeled prawns.
- Remove the head. Grab the body of the prawn just below where the head joins the first part of the body. Twist the head off.
- Remove the main shell. Hold the body firmly and use your thumb grip the legs. “Unwrap” the legs and shell around the body of the prawn, removing one or two of the body sections.
- Pop the tail. When there are only one or two sections of the prawn left before the tail, you can squeeze the tail section and the rest of the prawn should pop out of the tail section.
- Devein the prawn. Check for a vein that will be either clear or dark protruding from where the head was. Straighten the prawn out and slowly ease the vein out after gripping it lightly. If you are having trouble reaching the vein with your fingers, a wooden skewer tip will help you grasp it and remove it.
- To save water – don’t wash the prawns off one by one as you peel them – simply put them all together and wash them in one go when you have finished peeling. Some purists feel that washing the prawn dilutes the taste – but it’s really up to you.
Butterflying prawns is a way to make a smaller prawn look larger and more impressive.
- First, peel the prawn but leave the tail section intact.
- Cut the prawns along its entire length, and almost all the way through. This can be done along the stomach, which is the traditional method. Alternatively, you can cut along the back of the prawn to give it a circular shape and larger appearance.