How to Cook Prawns With the Shell On


In-shell prawns may cause a bit of extra work for diners, but they are rewarded by taste and texture. Prawns retain more moisture and flavor throughout the cooking process with their shells on than deveined and shelled ones. They also add to the color presentation of a dish and dining experience, particularly during casual events such as seafood boils and clambakes. If wanting to prepare a no-fuss seafood appetizer or entree, boil prawns in their shells for tasty, tender bites, and serve them with simple accompaniments such as lemon, drawn butter and cocktail sauce.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Tall pot
  • Salt
  • Dried spices and herbs (optional)
  • Ladle
  • Slotted spoon
  • Colander
  • Rinse the prawns under cold water to remove sand and bacteria from the shell.

  • Pour 6 qts. of water into a tall pot. Add 2 tbsp. of salt to create a brine mixture. Add dried herbs and spices for flavor, if desired. Bring the mixture to a boil on high heat.

  • Reduce the heat to medium. Ladle the in-shell prawns into the boiling water and simmer them for three to five minutes until their shells turn pink and the meat looks opaque.

  • Remove the prawns from the heat with a slotted spoon and place them in a colander. Run cold water over the prawns to cool and prevent them from continuing to cook.

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