Prawns Key facts The earliest evidence of prawns is from fossils in Madagascar, dating from 250 million years ago. In culinary terms, prawns are eaten all over the world and used with rice in the southern USA and Spain, or in stir-fries and curries in the Far East. Like all seafood, they are a potential source of food poisoning and should be used as soon as possible after buying.

The term prawn covers a multitude of varieties, many of them from warm foreign waters where they grow fast and often large. Even when unfrozen, these lack the flavour of our own, native fat juicy prawns.

Scampi is the Italian name for what we used to call Dublin Bay prawns, not in fact prawns at all but a tiny member of the lobster family. Just to confuse matters, what we call prawns the Americans call shrimps.

But our tiny shrimps are almost a national delicacy when potted in the traditional, Lancashire way with melted butter and spices. One authority suggests that to appreciate the flavour of potted shrimps, they should be gently warmed until the butter just begins to flow. I agree.

Related Recipes
Angel-hair Pasta with Thai Spiced Prawns Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a starter

Angel-hair Pasta with Thai Spiced Prawns

Lovely spicy flavours here: just fry the prawns with onions and garlic, tomatoes, lime, wine and Thai red curry paste, cook the finest of pasta, then combine it all for a really wonderful and easy supper dish.

Hot and Sour Pickled Prawns Serves 4 as a starter

Hot and Sour Pickled Prawns

This stunning prawn starter is easy to make and will wow your guests with its intriguing mix of flavours - a wonderful way to start a special meal.

Tiger Prawn Risotto with Lobster Sauce Serves 2

Tiger Prawn Risotto with Lobster Sauce

Prawns, lobster bisque, Gruyere cheese and sherry combine perfectly in this easy cheat's version of a risotto - baked in the oven, so no tedious stirring! Yet what could be more luxurious than this at a special meal for two?

Singapore Stir-fried Noodles Serves 2

Singapore Stir-fried Noodles

Flavour, texture, colour…this South-East Asian classic has it all! Delia was given the recipe by one of China's most legendary restaurateurs, so we just know it is authentic and terrific.

Thai Prawn Curry with Pineapple Serves 2

Thai Prawn Curry with Pineapple

Pineapple crops up in many Thai dishes and here it offers a juicy, tangy counterpoint to fat, succulent prawns, all cooked in a spicy sauce. Quick and easy, Thai curries are the perfect midweek solution when you are tired and hungry.




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