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Remove my prawns' shells?

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I have some beautiful prawns...what are your thoughts on sauteing with or without their shells on?

I know the shells help keep moisture and possibly flavor in...but the last time I cooked them with the shells on, I seasoned them well, but that all seasoning went away when I had to de-shell them prior to eating (which made for a quite messy time too).

Full disclosure: I probably will have some thai chili peppers in with them and then deglaze with some tequila while the prawns are still in there.

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  1. I prefer to remove the shells prior to cooking. They're just too messy to eat otherwise. And then I have a container in the freezer for the raw shells. When I have enough, I make shrimp bisque.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Sooeygun

      me too on both counts. The shells have a lot of flavor and shrimp cooked with shell on just taste better but they are a pain to peel while eating but as long as that's the plan and everyone is up for the task, go for it.

      Bags of shells line my freezer. Uusally when making a shrimp dish the shells plus ones from the freezer will be used to make a shrimp stock which is reduced. This reduction will be used to deglaze along with the other flavor components of the dish. Now I have that nice strong shrimp flavor back in my dish. Like having your cake and eating it too.

      1. re: scubadoo97

        me too, me too. i also find people hate de-shelling their own. although i sometimes fry up the heads with tons of salt and chili as a side.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          Ditto, remove the shells and then you can de-vein them.

    2. You could always eat them shell and all. I do.