Everything that You Need to Know about King Prawns before Buying
Over the last few decades, seafood has become more and more popular on the common household menus, thanks to the better awareness of nutritional benefits and the increased availability. Of the different types of seafood that get cooked and served on the tables, the most popular, succulent and enjoyed type is prawn. There is hardly anyone who can resist the temptation of sumptuous starters or impressive main courses made with prawns. Of all the different species of prawn that gets used for culinary purposes, it is the king prawns that offer the best treat to the eyes and the taste buds.
What is a King Prawn?
Put simply, king prawns are large sized prawns which have great commercial values as they are being used in a number of delicacies all around the world. Many people tend to confuse king prawns with lobsters or large tiger prawns. As a matter of fact, terms like prawn, shrimp, lobsters etc. do not hold much difference in the eyes of many people, who think all of these to be the same thing. Biologically speaking, lobsters, prawns, and shrimps are definitely not the same things and they belong to the different classes of sea animals. While lobsters are a completely different type of seafood (with clawed forelegs) that resembles a prawn, king prawns are much larger than tiger prawns and shrimps when it comes to matters of size.
Coming back to king prawns, these have a medium firm flesh which is moist and have a very rich flavour. When raw, the tails of these prawns are bright blue in colour. Although these are available round the year, the tastiest ones are available during late summer and early winter. However, thanks to the prawn distributors, this wonderful seafood is available in frozen form round the year with all its freshness retained well.
If you have been keeping away from this lip smacking seafood item all this while just because you found it weird looking or because of the fact that you were not aware of the various benefits and tasty aspects of it, you may want to read on till the end. By the end of this article, you would not only develop a fair idea about why so many people love these prawns, but would also get some real mouth-smacking recipes up your sleeves.
Are King Prawn a Healthy Food to Eat?
You must be aware of the fact that prawns are huge sources of proteins. If that is so, it is evident that the king of prawns would serve you with more protein than any other type.
Not only that, these prawns are very low in calories, which makes them a most preferred item on the menus for people who are working on their diet. These prawns give an option to add delicious items in the menu of the people who are on a diet to lose or maintain weight.
As you consume a serving of 100 grams of king prawn, you take only about 65-70 calories. Similar serving sizes of chicken contain 110 calories, and that of beef contains 188 calories and other popular sea fishes like salmon or tuna contains182 and 116 calories respectively. Eating king prawns over regular shrimps is more beneficial as 100 grams serving of shrimps would cause you to consume as much as 106 calories!
100 gram serving of raw king prawns also contains 0.8g of carbs, just 0.7g of fat and about 15g of protein. Along with that it also contains other minerals like iron, calcium, and sodium. This means a person will get most of the nutrients he/she needs by adding prawns in the menu.
Some Important Things to Know about King Prawns
It is true that king prawns are one of the most delicious seafood items that get cooked and served. However, there are certain important things that need to be noted before cooking the prawns.
De-veining – This is an important task while you prepare prawns for cooking. If you look at the prawn’s body, a thick black line runs along the entire length of the body. This is basically the intestinal tract of the prawn which contains the undigested food that was consumed by the prawn. It is for this reason that many people suffer from stomach disorders after having shrimps and prawns. Getting rid of this intestinal tract is known as de-veining. While it is not absolutely necessary to de-vein the King prawns before cooking, but doing so will so you would not only ensure that you will enjoy the unadulterated taste of the prawn’s flesh but would also wipe off the slightest chances of getting a stomach disorder.
Most reputed retailers take the pain themselves and devein the prawns before selling them to their customers. However, if you manage to get some prawns which are not deveined, you do so simply by either of the methods given below.
Remove the shell of the prawn and cut a slit longitudinally on the prawn’s body and pull the vein out
If you do not want to get rid of the shell due to cosmetic reasons, you can still pull the vein out by pulling the entire vein out in a single piece by locating it near the head, once the head is pulled off.
Shelf life – Much to the joy of the prawn lovers of the world, the king prawns have a huge shelf life as compared to the other members of its family. If stored at a temperature below -18ºC, these prawns can be stored for a good period of 3 months. You may want to check the distributor’s instruction regarding the best usage period of the prawns once they have been packaged. However, if the prawns are being thawed once, it needs to be cooked and not sent back to the freezer for storing purpose any longer.
Check the weight – If you need the prawns for some particular recipe and if you are buying them with the shells on, you may want to buy double the quantity as specified in the recipe. For example, if the recipe needs 400 grams of prawn, but does not specify whether it should be de-shelled or with shells, you may want to get at least 700-800 grams to be on the safer side, as some part of the weight would be lost once you de-shell the prawns.
Use of King Prawns in Culinary Dishes
Although they are quite expensive, you can use the king prawns in salads, soups, starters or main course items. They taste awesome when grilled on the barbecue as well. While the shelled prawns look amazing to the eyes, there are certain items where you would have de-shell the prawn before you start cooking them.
If you really want to get a feel of how tasty and delicious these prawns are, you need to get them now from a reputed distributor and use them in any of the recipes that you would be going through in the next section of this article.
Popular King Prawn Recipes
As you hit the restaurants, you would find plenty of items on the menu that are made of prawn. However, most of them use those tiny shrimps which are nowhere close to the taste or appearance of the mighty King Prawn. Going through the following recipes will empower you to cook some of the most lavish dishes with King Prawn, with which you would be able to amaze your family members, friends and guests.
None of these dishes will take anything more than 15-20 minutes, and each one will have the taste of the prawn dominating over other ingredients, letting your guests savour the taste to the fullest.
King Prawn Soup
There is no better way to start a meal than savouring your taste buds with some delicious king prawn soup.
To make 2 servings of this soup you would need the following ingredients.
- 350 grams of uncooked, peeled and deveined king prawn
- 3 stock meat broth
- 1 green chili (only if you want to make the soup slightly spicy)
- 1 Pak-choi
- 1 pack of egg noodles
- I tbsp each of brown sugar, chili oil,
- 3 tbsp of crushed garlic and 4 slices of fresh ginger
- 2 pinch of finely chopped coriander leaves
- 2 limes and lots of water
Once you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s cooking time! To cook the king prawn soup, you need to begin with boiling the broth and the noodles. While the boiling takes place, fry the king prawns in a wok or frying pan until they are pink and get curled up. Do keep a watch that you do not over fry them, as doing so will cause the moisture to go away from the flesh. Once the prawns are fried, it is the garlic and the chili (if you are using them) that needs to get fried properly.
With the fried garlic (and fired chili) still in the wok, pour the broth in the wok followed by the finely chopped ginger, pepper, and the chopped pak-choi. After cooking the whole thing for a couple of minutes, add the prawns along with the chili oil and brown sugar. Cook for about 4 minutes now. Once the soup is ready, squeeze the lemons and add the finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve the whole thing hot with the boiled noodles in an additional side bowl. Like things a little hotter, why try this BBC Good Food Spicy King Prawn Soup
King Prawn and Chicken Satay Stir-Fry
To make 4 servings of this lip-smacking delicacy you would need
- 10 King Prawns
- 2 chicken breasts that have been cut into strips
- 3 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 250 grams of peanut satay sauce
- 4 cup boiled egg noodles
- 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper and 2 chili peppers in diced form
- 1 large onion and 4 clove garlic that would be finely chopped
- 4 carrots cut into thin longitudinal strips
To cook the King Prawn and Chicken Satay Stir Fry, you have to heat the oil in a wok or frying pan on a medium flame. Once the oil has turned hot, you need to add the chopped onion and garlic and cook them until they turn soft. Following that, you need to add the peppers, carrots, and the chilies and cook for about five minutes. If you shudder at the thought of the food getting too spicy, you may prefer not to add the chili peppers.
Once the whole thing gets cooked well, add the chicken and stir it well. Once the chicken starts to release some water, add the satay sauce and cook it for a couple of minutes before adding the King Prawns. Right after 2 minutes of adding the prawns add the noodles and stir well to get the whole thing to an even mixture. Once the whole thing gets cooked after 2-3 minutes, pour it into a serving bowl, add some seasoning and enjoy the unmatched taste of King Prawn and Chicken Satay Stir Fry.
This item serves as a nice starter dish and does not take anything more than 15-20 minutes to get cooked.
To make this dish you would need to get your hands on:
- 3 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- a pinch of paprika
- 10 peeled king prawns
To cook the item, you would have to;
Chop the garlic finely and place it with the peeled prawns, a pinch of paprika and the olive oil into an earthenware casserole dish. If you do not have such a dish you can also use the oven to cook the dish.
Place the pot over a moderate flame and cook the whole thing until the prawns turn pink and get curled up. If you are using an oven, you would need to cook the thing at 180 degrees.
Once the prawn has turned pink, take it off the pot and serve hot to let your guests enjoy this mouth-watering starter dish.
It is not that only prawn lovers can enjoy the amazing taste of the prawns that are available in the market. If you are a crabmeat lover, you can still try these prawns as the taste of the prawns will act as a good substitute to the taste of the crabmeat.
Once you have tasted the rich flavour of the king prawns, you would be compelled to try it for several times, such is the taste and flavour of this much-celebrated seafood. written by: eltonbrown1