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We’ve Got the Secret to Achieving Perfectly-Cooked Prawns Every Time
While eating them is one thing, cooking them perfectly is a whole other story. When it comes to prawns, the goal is to cook them somewhere between overcooked and undercooked. Sounds tricky, we know. But, stick around because we’ll be sharing tips and tricks on how you can hit that sweet spot!
1. Fresh or frozen?
Buying live prawns straight from trawler is best. Unfortunately, you can’t guarantee the same quality when buying seafood that’s displayed on a pile of ice. For one thing, you don’t know for how long it's been displayed there. Who knows, they could’ve been repeatedly frozen and thawed a couple of times. In fact, it’s even better to just buy frozen prawns.
When it comes to your seafood, quality is the most important factor (and not negotiable), and here at FishMe!, it’s our top priority!
2. Defrost the right way.
When you’re about to cook your frozen prawns, how do you defrost them? Do you pop them in the microwave or thaw them at room temperature? We sure hope that you’re not doing those because they might compromise the quality of your prawns.
Instead, defrost them in the fridge overnight. You can also seal them in a bag and place in a sinkful or water for 5 to 10 minutes. The bag is important because it prevents the prawns from soaking up the water and turning soggy.
3. Discover your preferences.
Prepping your prawns before cooking them begs a lot of questions: Shell on or off? Deveined or not? At the end of the day, it all comes down to preferences. Sure, you won’t eat prawn shells; but, they actually contribute a lot of flavor to your dish, which is why some people opt to keep them on. Plus, the shells protect the prawns from intense, dry heat, preventing overcooking.
When it comes to deveining, the decision lies in your personal preference and time constraints. We say if in doubt, take them out!
4. It’s all about the skillet.
Why, you may ask? Prawns need to “breathe” while being cooked, so having a skillet that has enough space for your prawns without crowding them is best. This space allows each prawn to be in contact with the skillet, which helps in creating a good sear and cooking each one thoroughly and evenly.
5. Eyes on the prize prawns.
The thing with prawns is that they cook so easily, so you need to keep a close eye on them. Wait until the last minute to drop them onto the pan because they will be cooked in just two minutes! If you’re going to stir fry them, they can be ready in just 60 seconds — it’s that fast! If your prawns curl up into letter Os, then they might already be overcooked. The ideal shape is one that resembles the letter C.
As a bonus tip, we’re sharing a top culinary secret: baking soda and egg whites! They might be sitting idly in your cupboard and fridge; but, they’re actually the trick to achieving firm and crunchy prawns. Marinating prawns with egg whites and baking soda brings out that extra texture because the marinade’s chemical composition resembles that of the seawater. We hate to be technical here; but, our point is: Want extra crunchy prawns? Baking soda and egg whites!
And now, you’re all sorted! Next time you decide to cook prawns, just remember these pro-tips and you’ll have the best-tasting prawns in town!