May Contain Nuts

I cook clean yell at kids work clean repeat & I AM ALL ABOUT EFFICIENCY

Making the Most Out of the Spot Prawn Season

I get excited when things are in season.  After having a baby, I try to be more aware of healthy eating.  Well, keywords are try and more aware…!  I tend to associate healthy eating with 2 things – fresh and organic.  This post is not close to healthy eating but at least it’s fresh, so this is about having fresh food.  And associating shrimp with organic? Well, it eats crap so it’s somewhat organic.  🙂

As the Alaskan King Crab season is winding down, the Spot Prawn season is starting.  It begins in May for around 6-8 weeks.   Spot prawn fishing in BC is considered sustainable so it’s okay to eat them by the masses (your cholesterol will kill you before you kill the shrimping industry).  I got mine from Longliner Seafoods at Granville Island.  The fish lady said it was caught in the Vancouver Islands, however, most of it was dead either by the time I got home or already in the store.  I ended up getting a second batch from T&T for cheaper.  T&T’s been getting a better reputation for fresh seafood in the past few years especially for crabs, clams and shrimps.

Buying food by weight always ends up being the same thing.  It goes over all the time.  It’s like everyone else learned from the chinese butchers.  Don’t be shy to ask for an amount that you think it’s low as the vendor is not shy to give you more than you asked for.   I asked for $5 worth and got almost twice as much.  Perfect! 🙂

The head of the spot prawns takes up half its body weight. If you want to get more meat for your money, look for headless prawns but that usually comes frozen instead of fresh or live.

You can snip the sharp end of the butt or as I call it ‘Removing the stick from the prawn’s ass’.  Leave the tail on as it did nothing to you.

Use a pair of kitchen shears to snip the sharp antenna/horn that’s attached to the head.

Look for prawns without black spots. Spot prawns are known for having the white spots across the prawn hence the name, Spot Prawn. Duh.

Here’s a bunch of ‘fixed’ prawns.

It took me awhile to figure how I wanted to cook my prawns.  Another food blogger cooked his with Old Bay and I contemplated using it but decided to go asian.  You know how white folks turn their meals asian by adding soy sauce or sesame oil (even when it doesn’t go with the food) and it’s suddenly asian fused.  Well, we do something similar to reverse it, to make your food taste more western, you add Old Bay or seasoning salt…!

I decided to keep it simple.

I seasoned the prawns with soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil and mirin. Leave it in the fridge (covered) for 30 minutes.

Mirin is a Japanese sweetening agent. I use this to make miso soup (from scratch, not the packaged kind), add to rice and many more uses you can find on Japanese recipes.

Finely chop a stalk of green onion, half a bulb of garlic and one shallot. Save half of the chopped green onions and garlic for the sauce.

Add prawn to pan when oil is hot.

Toss them around in medium heat for a few minutes.

Add chopped garlic, green onions and shallots to the pan. Add more oil if needed.

So yummy looking and smells great!

This homemade sauce is great for gyozas too.  It’s more like a vinaigrette and opens up your palate and appetite.

  • add the chopped green onions, garlic and a tsp of white sugar in a bowl.
  • add a couple of tbsp of hot water to melt the sugar and use the back of the spoon to press on the garlic so that it releases its garlic scent.
  • add white vinegar.  You will need to taste test to see how tangy you would want your dip to be.
  • add soy sauce for colour and taste.  If you can taste the ‘saltyness’ then you added too much soy and add more vinegar and/or hot water to adjust.  This dip should be tangy and not salty.

Use the other half of the green onions and garlic for the sauce.

Warning – this sauce will give you major garlic breath but it’s so worth it!


The meat should be sweet with some bounce when you bite into the meat. If it is mushy, then it’s because it was not fresh.

The best part to me is the brains… you can only do 2 things with it. You eat it. Or you don’t. Don’t think about what’s in the sac. It’s a bit bitter but goes really well with the mushy sweet parts of the brain. Just suck everything out and spit out the hard membranes.  It tastes like the gunk under crab shells.

This is the sweet part of the brain. It’s looks a lot better than a dark mysterious sac.

If you don’t want to suck out the brains, you can scoop it out and eat it with a spoon, British style with the pinky up.  Hope you can enjoy some prawns during the season!


4 comments on “Making the Most Out of the Spot Prawn Season

  1. Sam Han
    May 18, 2013

    I have never seen sac in prawn heads. interesting! I love the gunk in both prawns and crabs 😀

    • drunk ninja
      June 12, 2013

      the gunk is so good when mixed in rice. But so bad for your arteries…. lol

      • Sam Han
        June 12, 2013

        You have seen my posts, nothing is healthy there! I go for taste. I think everything in moderation is ok. Healthy people also knock out in the end so why not get a taste of heaven on earth first? lol… 😉

  2. Shelli@howsitgoingeh?
    May 21, 2013

    Yum yum yum yum…..

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