Arguably the Finest Shrimp in the World
A “tell all” of what makes Organic Ocean’s wild B.C. spot prawns so delicious!
A collaboration between a restaurateur and a fisherman introduced chefs and foodies to the best ingredient they’d never heard of. In 2007, Chef Robert Clark and Captain Steve Johansen launched the first annual Spot Prawn Festival to celebrate the opening of the wild B.C. spot prawn season and bring the ultra premium shrimp that were headed for the luxury markets of Southeast Asia back home to dining establishments and consumers across North America.
What are Wild B.C. Spot Prawns
The spot prawn is the largest of the seven commercial species of shrimp found on the West Coast of Canada. They are most recognizable for their reddish brown colour, defining white spots on the tail, and white horizontal bars on the carapace (the upper shell). Hermaphroditic, all spot prawns are born males with the final two years of their four-year life span spent as females.
Sustainable Fishing & Ultra Premium Quality
Working with sustainable seafood advocacy groups, Organic Ocean has championed spot prawns as the benchmark for responsible fisheries. Using baited traps, the wild B.C. spot prawn fishery has little impact on the seabed and sees negligible bycatch of other marine life. During the five-week spot prawn season commencing in May or June, rigorous biological sampling is conducted to maintain a sufficient number of egg-bearing females to ensure the sustainability of the stock.
Our spot prawns are held and transported in a controlled environment of ocean water that is pumped from the depth from which they are harvested. By reducing metabolic activity through chilling, maintaining the appropriate oxygen and salinity levels, and releasing the carbon dioxide and ammonia generated by respiration, the spot prawns arrive in your kitchen in the same condition as they were when we pulled them from the sea.
How to Get the Best Flavour
We recommend that, if possible, live spot prawns be prepared the same day they are purchased. To keep them alive, put them in the refrigerator in a container covered with a wet towel. Don’t put them under tap water as the chlorine will kill them. If they are to be kept overnight (or a few days for that matter), the heads should be removed as a digestive enzyme in the head may cause the flesh in the tail to soften. Look for spot prawns with firm, translucent flesh and avoid those with white skin or black spots which is an indication the enzyme which causes the mushiness is starting to kick in.
How to Cook Spot Prawns
A healthy source of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory astaxanthin and Omega-3 fatty acids, the spot prawn has a firm texture and sweet, delicate and succulent flavour. Delicious when eaten raw and if cooked whole or as tails, it should only take 30 seconds to two minutes for them to change colour from reddish-brown to pink, at which point they’re done. When cooked whole, the juices from the head provide the spot prawn tail with a more defined taste. Our chefs like to cook the heads (deep fried for two to three minutes after being dipped in a seasoned corn starch is a really good option) or freeze them to be used in stocks.
In addition to live product, fresh tails can be provided in season. Spot prawn tails are also frozen in containers filled with sea brine for year-round availability.
Follow these amazing prawn and shrimp recipes curated by Organic Ocean.