When buying live Wild BC Spot Prawns look for lively, almost translucent prawns. The tail should be straight in line with the head. The head should be firm to touch, with no black colouration.
If the prawn is pink in colour, with the tail curled under the head, it is not freshly harvested.
If the head is showing a black colour the meat has started to deteriorate already. If the prawn head is soft or mushy when touched, the meat will also be mushy.
Wild BC Spot Prawns come from cold Pacific waters. After buying your prawns, immediately get them into a cooler or on ice. This will help prevent the prawn meat from deteriorating.
Wild BC Spot Prawns purchased “live” should be cooked immediately or have their heads removed as soon as possible.
After the heads are removed the tails should be thoroughly rinsed. Spot prawns have an enzyme that begins to permeate through the tail and turns the meat mushy. Removing the head and rinsing the tail keeps the flesh firm. The head of the prawn can be removed from the tail by swiftly turning it and pulling it away from the tail.
Freezing Live Wild BC Spot Prawns
Remove the head and pack prawn tails loosely into a plastic container or Ziploc bag. Completely cover tails with saline solution (1 tsp salt to 1.5 cup water) remembering that water expands as it freezes.
Frozen Wild BC Spot Prawns that have been properly handled and processed are just as succulent and delicious as live prawns. They are a great option when live prawns are not available. Frozen Wild BC Spot Prawns are typically sold tail only, with the shell still on. They are packed into tubs and covered with salt water.
Frozen prawns remain in good condition for up to six months in a residential freezer and up to 12 months in a commercial freezer. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, or thaw in a cool water bath an hour before use.
Two important rules:
1. DO NOT put the live prawns into tap water. The chlorine and in our water system will immediately kill the prawns, speeding up the decline of the meat.
2. DO NOT leave the prawns live for more than a few hours. The quality will deteriorate exponentially the longer they are left.