What is the difference between a prawn and a shrimp? This is the question many people ask me when I tell them about spot prawns. The terms prawn and shrimp are generally interchangeable. There are some differences in body structure, but to a non-crustacean connoisseur, they look pretty much the same. A spot prawn is the largest out of seven types of shrimp species harvested along the west coast of the US and Canada. One particular harvesting destination for spot prawns is the Santa Barbara channel. That is why these are Santa Barbara Spot Prawns!
Spot prawns are known for their sweet and firm texture. I paired the prawns with a lightly flavored lemon butter linguine. I wanted the dish to focus on the delicate flavor of the spot prawns and not be overpowered by a heavy sauce.
How to Clean and Peel Spot Prawns:
The shells of Spot Prawns are sharp, be careful and work slowly. Some prawns have red egg sacs underneath, these can be removed when peeling.
Twist off the head or cut it off with a sharp knife and discard.
Peeling the legs back, remove the shell and discard. If there is an egg sac, peel it off with the shell. Leave the tail on.
Sometimes there is a visible dark vein running down the back of the prawn. Remove this will a sharp pairing knife.