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iii_bake

Preparation for Thai River Prawn

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Following the questions from jamie Lee on Whole Prawn, i just ran into these prawns and thought it would be a good idea to write about Thai river prawns.

Actually I have the writing due for the cooking notes for my cooking school but it would take a while for my webmaster to add this into our web, so i decided to (learn how to ) post it here first.

This isfor the splitting and grilling prawn.

The peeling and more info will be coming shortly.

:smile:

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gallery_34302_4964_5277.jpg I got these Prawns from Ayudhya Province, Thailand...they were still kicking and alive. They were fished from Chao Praya River. The size is about 10 prawns per kilo. This kind pf prawn is also raised ( like farming) along the river side but you would be able to tell if they were fished from the river or the rasied ones from the way they are sold.

The vendor has only two small buckets each contained about 10 - 15 prawns with one ...only one 200 gram prawn. The big one gave me the hint that they were really caught from the river, if they are from the farm...the vendor would not carry just one!

The good size is 6 per kilo. ( The biggest is 3 per kilo or 5 per two kilos)

Notice the freshness from the glowing shell and the eyes.

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Take a closer look!

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Use scissors to cut half the head shell.

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Then the body part...cut to the end but leave the tail intact.

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Use a sharp knife to split the prawn by cutting the flesh along the line earlier cut by scissors.

Notice the Yellow creamy part on the head....

That is Tomalley, the best part we look for in prawns or shrimps in Thai cooking.

Now they are ready for the grill!

( or simply put in the oven)

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Split the prawns for grilling make eating easier...you can use knife and fork to take out the flesh. It also gives you opportunity to easier check on the doneness...

grill until almost white...and the tomalley is set...do not turn.

We serve this with Thai seadood sauce, Thai tamarind sauce or simple fish sauce and lime!

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iii_bake:

Thank you so much for this informative post! You pics are so much better than mine - I tried to get close ups of the head (a very scary looking thing indeed!) and your tutorial on prep was terrific.

In the absence of a grill or oven... what do you think about a grill pan or skillet?


Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

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iii_bake:

Thank you so much for this informative post!  You pics are so much better than mine - I tried to get close ups of the head (a very scary looking thing indeed!) and your tutorial on prep was terrific.

In the absence of a grill or oven... what do you think about a grill pan or skillet?

I sometime use cast iron skillet.

It works just great.

Do try the tomalley...with sauce or dressing...the real prawn flavour!

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gallery_34302_4964_6356.jpggallery_34302_4964_11232.jpggallery_34302_4964_5151.jpg

Peel off the shell on the body part first, leave the tail intact.

You can peel the head first but that will risk losing the fragile tomalley.

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Then the head...just like taking off its helmet!

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Gently pull out the gills and the legs...i always call this part the chin! The peeled prawn should look whole, the tomalley should not ooz out like shown ( i was too hash). Devein also ( not shown here).

As mentioned, the tomalley will lend full prawn flavour and that is the essence of thai cooking. For those who made pad Thai and Tom yum koong (koong is prawn/shrimp in Thai) and could not replicate the same flavour as those in real authentic Thai.. try this peeling technique even with other types of shrimp or prawn.


Edited by iii_bake (log)

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Last week I used up the last pound of my river prawns in a garlic saute. I halved the prawns lengthwise like shown above, but without so much extra cutting - just two knife cuts, like you would cut a lobster in half. It wasn't completely ideal; sometimes the head shell would crush instead of slice, and I'd lose the good stuff inside.

Once they were cut in half, I heated some olive oil, sliced garlic, and red pepper flakes in a cast iron skillet, then added the (salted, peppered) prawn halves and fried for a couple minutes. Then I added some lobster base, let it boil off, and ate the prawns barbarically with my fingers. :smile:


-- There are infinite variations on food restrictions. --

Crooked Kitchen - my food blog

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I haven't have live prawns like this since the last time I was in Taipei. They look great. Will you show additional prep photos?

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I haven't have live prawns like this since the last time I was in Taipei. They look great. Will you show additional prep photos?

I have posted two parts already. The splitting half and the peeling. :smile:

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