There are two important questions to ask of the prawn in front of you. Is it wild and is it Australian? There are four major species of Australian wild prawns and more boutique species, all with subtle differences in taste, size, texture and sweetness.
Perfectly suited to dishes like stir fries because it holds its shape well, the banana prawn’s mild flavour is perfect if like your seafood not too seafoody. Bananas are mainly caught in the Northern Prawn Fishery during a busy 8 week season leading into winter, leaving the rest of the year for stock to replenish. Bananas are also found in the tropical waters off Qld and WA.
There are two types of Endeavour Prawn, red and blue. Endeavours are mainly found in northern waters above the Tropic of Capricorn, on both the East and West coasts. The Endeavour has a full flavour, which helps it handle spicier or more fragrant dishes, perfect for curries, paella, risottos or marinated and grilled skewers.
King doesn’t refer to size, but species, so you can have small, medium and large wild king prawns. There are two species, Eastern and Western king found, on the Eastern, Western and Southern coasts of Australia. Kings have a vibrant blue tail when raw and turn pink to orange when cooked. Kings are your classic “bucket of prawns” species, right in the sweet spot on the flavour spectrum.
There are two types of wild tiger prawn, grooved and brown. They are found all around Australia. The tiger has distinctive stripes that become bright red when cooked. This makes the tiger an impressive prawn to serve and they deliver a rich meaty flavour suited to dipping sauces, grilling, BBQ’ing or frying. Tigers can grow big, larger than any other species.