Green prawns ready to process. The knife is the small blade from the 7-pce Buffalo River butchery kit.
Hold the prawn by the body with the thumb and forefinger of one hand. With the thumb and forefinger of the other hand, gently pull back the head from the body and twist until the head is removed.
The head of the prawn removed from the body.
Break off the legs using your thumbnail. Get the thumbnail between the legs and the body flesh and pry the legs away. Once you have the legs separated from the body keep using your fingernail(s) to continue peeling the shell segments away from the prawn’s body. The shell may come away from the body in segments. Once you get the hang of it the main body shell will come away in one piece.
Showing the shell (exoskeleton) segments removed from the body of the prawn.
Gently squeeze the tail on the prawn to ‘pop’ it from the body. Alternatively you could leave the tail attached for presentation purposes, especially if your prawns are going to be served finger food style. Leaving the tail on does make the cooked prawn easy to pick up.
Showing the prawn shelled.
Cut into the centreline of the back of the prawn.
Carefully cutting along the back of the prawn will expose the vein.
Use the tip of the knife to lift the vein from the prawn. Continue to remove all of the vein with your fingers. Once the vein is removed your prawn is ready for your recipe.
Using the shells and heads to make stock
Rather than discarding the heads and shells, why not make a prawn stock.
To make the stock. Heat about 1tbsp of canola or vegetable oil in a large frypan over medium-low heat. Add the prawn shells and heads to the frypan and toss them in the oil. Cook the prawn shells and heads for 2-3 minutes, stirring as they cook.
Add about a cup of water to the shells. Bring to a simmer, pressing down on the shells with a spatula or the back of a large spoon to extract maximum flavour. Continue to simmer for 5-7 minutes.
Pour the stock through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing down on the shells until all liquid is extracted.
You now have a prawn stock ready to use. This stock can be frozen for up to a month.
500g green prawns, peeled and deveined
2tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated
1/2 cup prawn stock
1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup cream
Finely chopped flat leaf parsley
In a heavy based frypan, heat the oil and butter over a medium low heat. Add the garlic to the pan and stirfry until the garlic has softened. Pour in the prawn stock and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
Pop the deveined green prawns into the liquid in the pan and continue to cook until the prawns have just turned pink.
Add the Worcestershire sauce to the pan, stir well and then add the cream. Stir together well to ensure that the prawns are well coated with the sauce.
Serve the garlic prawns on a bed of steamed rice. Sprinkle with finely chopped flat leaf parsley.