The spot prawn season is in full swing on the west coast and many of Vancouver’s top restaurants are featuring the seasonal delicacy on their menus. If you are unfamiliar with spot prawns, they are the largest cold-water shrimp on the market. With a slightly sweet taste, they are firm yet tender when cooked and are perfect post Vancouver cycling tour treat.

Spot prawns are visually recognizable for their white spotted tails, black striped shells and pink bodies (when cooked). They are the largest prawn found on the west coast of Canada and are classified as a sustainable species, qualifying them for the Vancouver Aquarium’s OceanWise status.

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d Photo courtesy of Foodist.ca

Local Restaurants:

West – A fine dining take on a local cuisine with additional seasonal locally source ingredients.

Chicha - Spot prawns with a Peruvian flare served in three styles: ceviche, grilled or nori tempura.

Burdock & Co – A hip take on the spot prawn phenomenon. Go for the prawns – indulge in the gluten-free Meyer Lemon Curd cake for dessert.

Fun Facts:

-Spot prawns are gender-benders. They spend the first two years as males and then become females for the last two years of their short lives. They are the largest and tastiest in their female form.

-Shrimp are the most consumed seafood in the United States. The majority of this market is imported, farmed, warm-water shrimp.

Sustainability:

Spot prawns are caught in the wild using long-ling bait traps. The shot season lasts just over a month. There are limited commercial licenses for traps. Once the trap yields dip below an established level, the season is closed. The traps are designed to have minimal habitat impact, with low levels of bycatch.

Cooking Caution:

These guys only need a minute to cook, often receiving a quick 30-second sear. Cook them too long and they become tough and stringy.

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