Are shrimps prawns or are prawns shrimps.
This could be one of those million dollar questions, but the answer is not a million miles away.
Truth is there are some similarities, both are crustaceans and have the same shape, both are aquatic animals with a hard shell over a fragmented body (the muscular part we look for when eating/ cooking shrimp or prawns), both have five pair of legs and a set of swimmerets at the end of that delicious muscular part of the body.
Interesting to know is that most Prawns and shrimps are born male and change sex after two years, once female a prawn produces approximately 25000 eggs two or three times a year.
Then there are some technical differences between the two species, these are best left to marine biologists who already seem to be having a hard time to understand precisely what these differences are.
Next are some language issues, a Shrimp in the US is a Prawn in Australia, keep that in mind when you travel.
For the picky eaters among us, the segments of a prawn tail overlaps the segment behind, like roof tiles, while shrimp tail segments overlap both the front and behind segment, so look out for that when shopping for any of these two crustaceans.
Choose your favorite
For the not so picky among us, the guideline that prawns are bigger than shrimp may apply, but then again, you have fresh water prawns, salt water prawns (not many, but there are) farmed prawns and the same goes for shrimp.
If that does not satisfy you as of yet, we also have banana prawns, tiger prawns, endeavor prawns. School prawns and red spot prawns.
In addition there are Asian giant tiger prawns, European prawns, known as scampi in Spain, Holland has a small grey variety, Norway has an orange/ brown variety and South America has White leg shrimp.
One thing these crustaceans have all in-common is that they are scrumptious delicious, very versatile when it comes to cooking, they pair with almost anything.
You can just boil them, peel and use the tail meat as sandwich filling or with a sauce in a prawn cocktail, you are free to call it shrimp cocktail, you can pan sear them, barbeque or use them as pizza topping.
Use prawns or shrimp in any seafood concoction and you will not be disappointed, find some dried prawns and prawn paste in an Asian store and use as flavoring in stir fried dishes, the sky is the limit.
Some connoisseurs regard prawn heads the most delicious part of the prawns/ shrimps, to which I must agree, coat the heads with some corn starch and fry them crispy, absolutely divine.
If you do not like the idea and peel fresh prawns/shrimp, use the shells and heads for stock and make a great seafood bouillabaisse.
Prawns are low in fat, bit high in cholesterol, but studies reveal that eating prawns hardly increases your body cholesterol, due to the healthy omega 3 fatty acids they contain. Saturated fat does, just to remind you.
Prawns are low in calories, high in Calcium, phosphor and copper for stronger bones.
Prawns also have a good level of vitamins (B 6) and iron.
On the menu
Many reasons to put some prawns on the menu, either for lunch, dinner or snack. You’ll love it!