Queensland prawns

Queensland prawns are caught up and down the coast and some varieties are also farmed right here in Queensland. Prawns are a popular, versatile option and can be cooked in many different cuisines. Our main varieties are available throughout the year so why not put Queensland prawns on your dinner menu every week?

King prawn

A cooked king prawn

A cooked king prawn

  • A popular choice due to their rich, consistent flavour.
  • Medium in texture, and medium to large in size, king prawns are a versatile option.

Banana prawn

A raw banana prawn

A raw banana prawn

  • A medium-sized prawn with a mild, sweet flavour.
  • Banana prawns work well either stand alone or marinated and cooked on the barbecue.

Endeavour prawn

A raw endeavour prawn

A raw endeavour prawn

  • Endeavour prawns may be smaller than some other varieties but what they lack in size they make up for in flavour.
  • Thanks to their stronger, sweet flavour they hold their own in spicy Asian dishes, particularly curries.

Tiger prawn

A raw tiger prawn

A raw tiger prawn

  • Tiger prawns are recognisable for their distinctive stripes that turn red when cooked.
  • Tiger prawns have a firmer texture, making them perfect in soups and sashimi.

Bay prawn

A cooked bay prawn

A cooked bay prawn

  • This variety is generally the smallest and the sweetest of the Queensland prawns.
  • If you're a feeling adventurous eat them Spanish style, dusted in seasoned flour and deep fried - shell and all.

Buying

If it's a quick prawn fix you're after, cooked prawns may be best. Pale pink or orange in colour, these can be peeled and eaten straight away. It's best to cook with raw (green) prawns. These can be purchased fresh or frozen.

Top buying tips

  1. Wake up and smell the prawns! Fresh prawns should smell like the ocean.
  2. Choose prawns with firmly attached shells and heads.
  3. Look for evenly coloured prawns without blackening on the head or legs.
  4. Choose prawns that have a slight shine, but no unnatural residue or slime.
  5. Queensland prawns are renowned for being high in quality so always ask if they're Queensland caught or grown.

Storing

Store cooked prawns or raw, peeled prawns in an airtight container in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to three days. Raw prawns in their shells will keep for up to two days in an airtight container in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Prawns can last up to three months if frozen. It is not recommended to refreeze prawns once thawed.

Preparing

If your prawns are frozen, whether cooked or raw, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight, or if you need them immediately thaw them in a light mixture of salty iced water. If your prawns are already thawed, move straight onto peeling.

Simple peeling steps

  1. Twist and remove the head.
  2. Starting from where the head was, remove the legs from the underside of the body, peeling and removing the shell as you go.
  3. To remove the tail simply squeeze the end and the flesh will pop out.
  4. Cut down the back of the prawn and remove the digestive tract either with your fingers or under the tap (cooked prawns) or using a skewer (raw prawns).

Cooking

Raw prawns can either be cooked whole in their shell or the flesh can be removed and then cooked. If you're cooking prawn flesh it will usually only take a maximum of approximately 1-2 minutes to cook, but the time will depend on the size of the prawns.

If you're boiling whole prawns, when they're cooked they will turn slightly pink. This will usually only take approximately 2-3 minutes, but small prawns may be done in 1-2 minutes. As prawns cook relatively quickly be careful not to overcook them. Overcooked prawns are tough and dry whereas perfectly cooked prawns are tender and moist.

Visit the Queensland Food page to download a copy of the Coconut crumbed prawns with pumpkin salad and lime mayonnaise recipe.

Where to buy

Buy Queensland prawns from your nearest seafood retailer or supermarket. Find your nearest Queensland prawn retailer.

Last updated 13 June 2012