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Need prawn shopping advice


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I've been thinking about this since that post about fresh shrimp at Mutual Fish.

What are the best prawns that we can get here in Seattle? I find the previously frozen black tiger prawns that are widely available here pretty bland, and I hate cleaning the eggs off of the Alaskan spot prawns (I don't find these that great, anyway). They have "jumbo gulf prawns" at one store in the Market, but they are $19.99-$22.99/lb and I don't know if they are worth it (I haven't bought them).

Advice? What do you buy?

I really wanted some for our block party tonight as we are all dragging our grills out front into the street.

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In my opinion, it's worth getting gulf or Mexican whites rather than Black Tiger, which have a catchy name but little else to recommend them. Buy frozen, not defrosted, and brine. The best prices are at Asian groceries, but you'll need to buy a 1- or 2-kilo block, which is fine if you've got a big barbecue going on.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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and I hate cleaning the eggs off of the Alaskan spot prawns (I don't find these that great, anyway).

OMG! The eggs are the best part! I can no loner eat warm water species of shrimp after catching and eating those fantastic Alaskan spot shrimp! They are sooooo sweet!

They are such a treat as you really have to seek those out in deep and cold waters. Makes for a great afternoon if it isn't raining.... [in Sitka]

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Has anyone tried buying live shrimp? I've seen them at various times at various asian seafood markets but never got any myself. I don't know where they come from, when they're in season, or even if they're any good.

thanks

Alex

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I meant, how do you prepare the eggs? Do you eat them raw? Put them in sushi? Please explain.

"Homer, he's out of control. He gave me a bad review. So my friend put a horse head on the bed. He ate the head and gave it a bad review! True Story." Luigi, The Simpsons

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They have "jumbo gulf prawns" at one store in the Market, but they are $19.99-$22.99/lb and I don't know if they are worth it (I haven't bought them).

I bought one jumbo prawn from University Seafoods, not so much to eat, but to use as a goofy centerpiece. The price was comparable, as in 1 prawn = $8. We steamed it, decorated it with cherries for eyes and sticks for antennae, laughed at it for a few hours and then tried eating it. It was awful, although after 8 hours on the dining room table, this wasn't this prawn's finest hour. The rubbery texture was understandable, but it also lacked any flavor whatsoever.

This wasn't a fair test. I've been meaning to buy one, treat it properly and taste it again. Let us know if you break down and try them.

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I meant, how do you prepare the eggs? Do you eat them raw? Put them in sushi? Please explain.

I suppose they can be eaten raw, but usually I've had them after the shrimp has been cooked.

They aren't treated to a different way of eating or preparing as it is the usual peel and eat situation. They are very rich and mild and taste like the ocean. (They should not taste strong).

Most in Alaska boil the shrimp until cooked or I've seen them on the grill, usually on a sheet of foil, during summer picnics. Eat them either warm or chilled, with a lemon squeeze and a yummy drawn garlic/herb butter is divine.

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