Green Prawns or Cooked?
Prawns are sold either green (uncooked) or cooked. Cooked prawns will generally have that light pink to orange colour about them. They are ready to be peeled and eaten straight away or put into your favourite dish.
Green prawns come both fresh and frozen (but most commonly frozen and thawed for your convenience) ask your retailer when buying as it is not recommended to re-freeze thawed prawns. Well managed frozen prawns are every bit as tasty as fresh prawns and in some cases they can even be fresher - as larger vessels catch, cook and freeze onboard.
To keep that delicious fresh sea taste when thawing your frozen prawns (both cooked & green) it is recommended to swim the product in a light brine (salty iced water). Add sea salt to a tub of icy water, taste it, and when you think it tastes like the sea toss in your frozen prawns to thaw.
What to look for?
You can use sight, smell and touch to judgel the quality of prawns. First, appearance Look carefully for discolouration or dryness and any unnatural residue or slime on the surface of the prawn. Make sure they are complete - not with missing heads or broken legs. Give them a good smell - fresh prawns smell like the ocean. If you detect a hint of ammonia, then best to avoid them.
Endeavour Prawns have a naturally dark head which is fine, and other species of prawns with dark heads may have been on a feeding frenzy just before being caught and that will also show as colouration around the head. In any other case, avoid prawns with dark or discoloured heads.
Where to buy
Queensland Prawns are available from supermarkets and specialist seafood retailers throughout this great state of ours. When at the supermarket you will find Queensland Prawns in the Deli section, or in some locations, the supermarket will have its own seafood section.
|Find your nearest Queensland seafood retailer - from small family run fishmongers to large operations with their own trawlers or farms.
Qld Prawns including Aussie Tiger Prawns are in the Deli section. Woolworths supermarkets store locator. Find your nearest store.
||Coles supermarkets store locator. Find your nearest store.
||Crystal Bay's prawns are available through 23 independant distributors around Australia, or your local Woolworths and Coles stores.
||Blue Harvest - Australian specialist seafood agency. Find your nearest supplier.
|» retailers list
||» store locator
||» store locator
||» store locator
||» supplier list
How to identify Queensland Prawns.
At the Retailer
Laws in Australia require retailers to show the country of origin of seafood. So it’s not too hard to separate the imported from the Australian when you are at your local fishmonger or supermarket.
Still it doesn’t hurt to ask the person behind the counter where the prawns have come from. They should be able to say “These Bananas are from the Gulf of Carpenteria - caught last month after the big rains” or “These Red Spot Kings were caught just off Gladstone”. “These Kings have come from the Spencer Gulf in South Australia”. If you’re getting answers like these, it’s great news. Of course we’d love you to buy the Queensland product over others, but if that’s not possible, then choose Australian produce over imported.
Note that Vannemai Prawns are not caught or farmed in Australia. They are imported mostly from Thailand or Vietnam.
Whether at home or on holidays, we all love to be able to sample the delights of local produce. Obviously a specialist seafood restaurant is a great place to start. It doesn't have to be the most expensive one either. The menu is the first clue - does it say “locally caught”? Do they identify the species? If not, it’s always good to ask what type of prawns are in the dish when ordering. At the moment there is a push to introduce the same “country of origin” labeling requirements for restaurants as well as retailers. We are all for that.
Queensland Prawns versus imported.
Australia consumes more seafood than it catches or farms, so imports are an important part of filling that gap.
In fact about 70% of the seafood Australians consume is imported. That figure may suprise you - especially when you consider that our waters are so abundant with aquatic life.
Different countries have different laws and attitudes towards enforcing those laws when it comes to responsible and sustainable production. Like anything, there are responsible operators and there are irresponsible operators in countries that have strict, well enforced laws and countries that don't.
The two main reasons we would prefer Queenslanders to choose Queensland Prawns is that you’re supporting other Queenslanders and know that your product is coming from a sustainable source. The other is - that anything imported has travelled a long, long way to get here, so if food miles are important to you, then choose Queensland Prawns.
How much should I pay?
Prices vary from supply, demand and season. Prawns are sold in grades by their size. The larger the prawn, generally the more expensive. Big prawns are called U10’s - that means that a pound (half kilo) of prawns will be made up of under 10 prawns. 10-15 means that per pound, you can expect 10 to 15 prawns. 16-20 are smaller and 21-30 prawns are smaller again.
How much per kilo? Are Queensland Prawns expensive?
If you’ve only thought about buying prawns at Christmas or Easter, then you might think that they are expensive. Why? Supply and demand. Christmas is the traditional time in Australia to eat prawns, and demand skyrockets therefore affecting prices, but prawns are generally available most of the year round. Even when trawlers aren’t at sea, in Queensland a number of sustainable aquaculture farms supply prawns year round.
Big Money Saving Tip
Good retailers will sell prawns in pre packaged 1.5 and 3 kilo frozen boxes. These will last up to 18 months in your freezer. This dramatically lowers the cost per kilo for you, and all you need to do is thaw enough prawns at the time for each dish you make. Frozen prawns keep well. This makes it easy to have prawns say, once a month, and it ends up being very affordable per kilo.
Whenever you’re at a loss for what to make for dinner, head over to our prawn recipes section, defrost some of those prawns and have a easy, healthy inexpensive meal.
Compare the price per serve, not the price per kilo.
In a study by Lindsey Peshanoff and Jackson Jaensch from the University of South Australia, people were asked how much they thought prawns cost per kilo. The researchers were surprised to find out that we think prawns are generally $5-$10 kilo more expensive than they actually are. As regular shoppers, we can also believe that prawns are expensive when comparing the price per kilo directly with beef, lamb, pork or chicken. On a per serve basis, however, the difference is much smaller.
A standard serving of prawns, where they are the main component of the dish, is 6 large prawns, while only around 3-4 per serve are required in a dish like a laksa or marinara. This equates to a per serve price of around $4 if they're the main part of the dish, or $2 if they are one of the ingredients. Once again, when you factor prawns are zero carb, low fat, high protein sources of nutrition - the per serve price means great food made affordable.