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Steamed Prawns: A Delicious and Healthy Seafood Option

If you're looking for a delicious and healthy seafood dish, steamed prawns are a great option.

Steaming is a gentle cooking method that preserves the natural sweetness and delicate texture of the prawns. Plus, it's quick and easy to prepare, making it a perfect choice for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion.

To prepare the prawns for steaming, you'll need to clean and devein them first.

This involves removing the head, shell, and digestive tract from each prawn. You can also leave the tail on for a more attractive presentation.

Once the prawns are cleaned, you can marinate them in a mixture of garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and rice wine for added flavour.

Prawns arranged in a steamer over boiling water. Steam rising, shells turning pink. Garnishes and lemon wedges nearby

When it comes to steaming the prawns, you can use a bamboo steamer basket or a metal steamer basket.

Simply place the prawns in a single layer in the basket and steam them for 5-7 minutes, or until they turn pink and are cooked through.

Serve the steamed prawns with a dipping sauce of your choice, such as soy sauce, chilli sauce, or sweet and sour sauce.

Key Takeaways

  • Steamed prawns are a healthy and delicious seafood dish that's quick and easy to prepare.
  • Before steaming the prawns, you'll need to clean and devein them, and marinate them for added flavour.
  • Steamed prawns can be served with a variety of dipping sauces, such as soy sauce, chilli sauce, or sweet and sour sauce.

Preparing the Prawns

Prawns arranged in a steamer over boiling water. Steam rising, shells turning pink. Garnishes and lemon wedges nearby

Before steaming the prawns, it is essential to prepare them properly. Follow these simple steps to ensure that your prawns are clean and ready for cooking.

Selecting and Cleaning

When selecting fresh prawns, look for those with a firm texture, shiny shells, and a slightly salty smell.

Avoid prawns that have a slimy texture or a strong ammonia-like smell, as these are signs that they are not fresh.

To clean the prawns, rinse them under cold running water and pat them dry with paper towels.

Use kitchen scissors to cut off the whiskers and legs. Then, use a sharp knife to make a shallow cut down the back of each prawn and remove the vein.

Butterflying and Deveining

Butterflying the prawns involves cutting them open along the back and flattening them out. This technique allows the prawns to cook more evenly and also makes it easier to remove the vein.

To butterfly the prawns, use a sharp knife to make a shallow cut along the back of each prawn, from the head to the tail.

Be careful not to cut too deep, as you do not want to cut the prawn in half. Open up the prawn and use the tip of the knife to remove the vein.

If you prefer, you can leave the shells on the prawns for added flavour. However, you will need to make a deeper cut along the back to remove the vein.

Steaming Process

Steam rises from a pot of boiling water, enveloping a pile of fresh prawns

Setting Up the Steamer

To begin steaming your prawns, you will need to set up your steamer.

If you have a bamboo steamer, place it over a wok or pot of boiling water. If you have an electric steamer, fill the reservoir with water according to the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure to leave enough space for the steam to circulate.

Cooking to Perfection

Once your steamer is set up, it's time to steam your prawns.

Begin by bringing the water to a rapid boil. This is important to ensure that enough steam is generated to cook the prawns through.

While waiting for the water to boil, prepare your prawns by cleaning and deveining them.

When the water is boiling, place the prawns in the steamer basket, making sure they are not overcrowded.

Cover the steamer with a lid and set a timer for the appropriate cook time.

The cook time will depend on the size of the prawns, but generally, it should take around 4-6 minutes for them to be cooked to perfection.

It's important not to overcook the prawns, as they can become tough and rubbery.

Keep an eye on them and check for doneness by looking for a pinkish-orange colour and a slightly curled shape.

Once they are cooked, remove the prawns from the steamer and serve immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Steaming prawns in a metal pot, surrounded by rising steam and a fragrant aroma

What's the ideal time for steaming prawns with their shells on?

The ideal time for steaming prawns with their shells on depends on their size.

As a general rule of thumb, small to medium-sized prawns should be steamed for 2-5 minutes, while larger prawns should be steamed for 5-7 minutes.

For more information on how to steam prawns, check out this quick guide.

Can you suggest some tasty recipes for steamed prawns?

Yes, here are some delicious recipes to try:

How can I prepare steamed prawns with a soy sauce twist?

To prepare steamed prawns with a soy sauce twist, mix together soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, and ginger in a bowl.

Place the prawns in a steamer basket and steam for 3-5 minutes.

Once done, pour the soy sauce mixture over the prawns and garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro.

For a more detailed recipe, check out this guide.

What are the secrets to making perfect Chinese-style steamed prawns?

The secrets to making perfect Chinese-style steamed prawns are to use fresh and high-quality prawns, marinate them with the right ingredients, and steam them for the appropriate amount of time.

For a step-by-step guide on how to make authentic Chinese-style steamed prawns, check out this tutorial.

Are there any special techniques for steaming garlic butter prawns?

To make delicious garlic butter prawns, melt butter in a pan and sauté garlic until fragrant.

Add the prawns and cook until they turn pink.

Once done, transfer the prawns to a steamer basket and steam for 2-3 minutes.

For more tips on how to make garlic butter prawns, check out this guide.

Which variety of prawns is best suited for a steamed dish?

The best variety of prawns for a steamed dish is the fresh and high-quality ones.

Tiger prawns, king prawns, and jumbo prawns are some of the popular choices for steaming. However, you can use any variety of prawns that you prefer.

Just make sure to clean and devein them properly before steaming.