Spot prawns are actually a shrimp and are the largest of the seven commercial shrimp species found in Canada’s west coast waters. They are caught with traps, which result in relatively low by-catch and habitat damage. They have been labelled an official “sustainable seafood pick” by the David Sukuki Foundation. Therefore, they can be enjoyed without guilt!
The prawns are sweet and firm and are much more succulent than your run-of-the-mill tiger prawn. Their season runs from May until June each year although frozen varieties are available year round. But fresh is always best when it comes to seafood.
In terms of nutrition, the spot prawn is a great choice. A 3.5 oz serving will provide only 112 calories, 20 grams of protein, very little fat, and a host of difficult to obtain minerals, such as zinc, iodine, phosphorous, potassium, selenium and iron.
Zinc is one of the most deficient minerals in children, adults and the elderly. It plays multiple roles in the body and is essential for cell growth, bone formation, immunity, sexual maturation and fertility, blood sugar regulation, vision and provides potent anti-oxidant activity. You will obtain approximately 20% of your daily required intake of zinc with a 3.5oz serving of spot prawns. Throw in some pumpkin seeds, asparagus, beef and chard into your daily diet and you`ll reach 100% without trouble.
In order to maximize the flavour the spot prawns, I recommend a simple preparation with few ingredients. Remember spot prawns only take a minute or two to cook, so keep an eye on them and as soon as they turn pink, take them off the heat.
Sautéed Spot Prawns with Garlic and Lemon
3.5 oz spot prawns
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 garlic clove, crushed
Zest of one lemon and a slice to finish
¼ cup dry white wine
Heat the oil in a pan and add the shrimp and garlic, stirring frequently. Turn down heat to medium so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add wine and place lid on pan so prawns gently steam for 30 seconds or so. Remove lid to burn off most of wine and add lemon zest. Keep moving prawns around pan. As soon as prawns turn pink (only about 1-2 minutes in pan) remove from heat and serve.
Accompany the prawns with an arugula salad, crunchy baguette and your favourite white plonk.
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