How to cook prawns correctly

Judging by their shape, when a prawn forms a ‘C’ shape, it is cooked. When it curls into an ‘O’, it's overcooked.


By: Times Foodie

Updated Jul 11, 2022 | 16:46 IST

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how to cook prawns
how to cook prawns
Deep-fried, steamed, stir-fried, poached or grilled, prawns taste great no matter how you cook them. Despite that, we often end up with hard, rubbery prawns that taste unpleasant. Texture to prawns is as important as taste. A few seconds more or less in the pan or gravy and the prawns can get into an unwanted texture. An overcooked prawn can feel very dry while an undercooked one is just fleshy with an awkward taste. To get the juicy, springy texture of prawns, it's important to nail the cooking time correctly.
How to cook prawns perfectly
Here are a few ways that can help you achieve those perfectly cooked prawns with a nice texture:
1. Always buy fresh prawns from a local market and prepare them the very same day. This ensures proper cooking and better taste.
2. Prawns are delicate so avoid thawing them in the microwave or warm or hot water. The best way is to thaw the prawns overnight in the fridge, inside a colander, and let the extra water drip into a bowl underneath. Alternatively, sealing them in an air-tight bag and placing them in a bowl of cold water until they thaw can also be done.
3. Overcooking prawns is the most common mistake. Look for opaqueness and colour as proof of a well-cooked prawn. Once the thickest part of the shrimp opposite to the tail turns pink and opaque, it’s done. On a grill, once the bottom half of the shrimp is pink and opaque, it is cooked. Judging by their shape, when a prawn forms a ‘C’ shape, it is cooked. When it curls into an ‘O’, it's overcooked.
4. Deveining a prawn is equally important. A sharp paring knife is the best tool for this job and you don’t want to skip this part while cooking prawns.
Why should prawns be included in a regular diet?
Apart from being absolutely delicious to eat, prawns are also high on nutrition. They are packed with vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorous, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E, and more. They also contain vitamins B12, B6, and niacin. Prawns are also a good source of iron that helps in increasing red blood cells in the body. When eaten in the right amount with the right kind of ingredients, they can also help in weight loss.

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