Pacific Prawns are the seafood gems of the Salish Sea. They are not the easiest meal to come by, but the tender meat, sweet, with a little brininess, is well worth the effort.
Fill a large pot with water and add a couple of tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning. Cover the pot, and put over a high heat. When the water begins to boil, drop in the prawns and cover the pot again. Cook until the prawns are just firm, being careful not to overcook. Some like to boil their prawns in beer.
Lucky diners can pop off the heads, peel away the soft shell around the body and enjoy. The meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender, with a delicate flavor and a fine amount of brine.
It’s such a perfect bite, we rarely bother with a sauce. If you would like to gild this Lily, drawn butter with a little garlic, an aioli (with or without a little saffron), or curry powder mixed into a good quality mayonnaise are all good dipping options.
If you are fortunate enough to pull up a large catch, save some for a rainy day.
The prawns can be quickly “headed”. Yes, just snap the heads off, store them in freezer bags and put them in the freezer.
Cooked prawns will last for about 2 days tightly wrapped in the refrigerator.
If a Salish cruise isn’t in the plans, store bought prawns will do. We recommend buying frozen wild caught prawns in bulk or in sealed bags from the grocery store. The majority of the prawns sold at fish counters were previously frozen at sea and have been thawed at the store — but for how long?