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Apr 15, 2010 12:31 PM

Spot Prawn Availability/Festival

The Spot Prawn Festival is on May 8 this year I hear.

Will be going but am also wondering if they are available from the boats at Steveston. Last year I got some Ama Ebi there -$10.00 for 5 lbs Ate them raw. Are they one and the same? They certainly look it.

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  1. Around here Spot Prawns are amaebi (but not necessarily the other way around). Since the name "amaebi" is fairly generic ("sweet shrimp"), you could very well be getting a different shrimp if you order amaebi at a sushi restaurant.

    1. No, the amaebi you got from Steveston would have been sidestripe shrimp. Much smaller than spot prawns, but still damn tasty and a real good deal, great both cooked and raw. You should be able to find spot prawns in season live (best way to get them) for around $10/lb from T&T when they are on special, perhaps $15/lb at other times. Perhaps at Steveston, but probably not live. The prawn boat at Granville fishermans warf has them frozen too.

      17 Replies
      1. re: jcolvin

        Ditto. I usually pick mine up at T&T for $10/lb in the early summer. Throw them in boiling water and I have myself a perfect snack with a nice cold beer =). can''t waitttttt!

        1. re: mh0408

          oh yeah! the key is a *very* short boil. ie only a few second. once they've started changing color they are pretty much done. they should be crunchy. and suck the heads, of course :)

        2. re: jcolvin

          Thanks. I want to go back and get the amaebi. Know I went last year but forget the season. Is it the same as spot prawns - in a couple of weeks?

          1. re: repartee

            It fairly easy to identify spot prawns vs side stripe shrimps: Spot prawns have stripes down their head (carapace) and have whitish spots on their upper shell segments (hence the name).
            Side stripes are smaller than spot prawns and have stripes down their bodies (not their heads).

            1. re: fmed

              In terms of Shrimp my all time fave is Humpback or King Shrimp, from time to time boats from Northern BC will have some for sale you'll see them @ Fisherman's Wharf in Vancouver or Steveston.

              Is it better because it has a sprinkle of unobtainium?

              Not really the nuttier flavour stands up better to stir fries and the like-Sidestripe I like raw in sandwiches or wraps.


              1. re: Sam Salmon

                Spot Prawns have their size and some good marketing behind them. (They are technically "shrimp" too!).

            2. re: repartee

              It is confusing as to what constitutes "amaebi". Many places call any smallish raw coldwater ocean shrimp amaebi. However I have also read that only Pacific Pink Shrimp (Pandalus borealis ) are true amaebi. Here is one such site:

              And this one contradicts it:

              Anyone know for sure?

            3. re: jcolvin

              Don't tell anyone but I prefer sidestrip to spot... shh... losing CH cred :-).

              1. re: grayelf

                @grayelf: on the contrary...your comment makes me really curious to try sidestripes :)

              2. re: jcolvin

                Oh, wow $10/lb is a great deal. Wish we had a T&T here in Vic. I bought some spot prawns recently at Thrifty's... i think it was around $4/100g.. ? :) Anybody have any tips for seafood sourcing here?

                I was on the sustainable seafood website and just realized that black tiger shrimp is an AVOID (I should've know this a long time ago if I thought about it)... and it says spot prawn is the best alternative.... Any other good alternatives you would recommend?

                1. re: sumashi

                  Excerpt from

                  The Chefs’ Table Society of BC is pleased to announce the Fourth Annual Spot Prawn Festival. Lasting for the duration of the season, the six to eight week Spot Prawn Festival will kick off on Saturday May 8th from 12pm – 3pm with a community and family-friendly event at False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf.

                  This rain or shine launch will feature delicious spot prawn dishes, spot prawn specials at the award-winning Go Fish, a gathering of Vancouver’s chef and restaurant community, and the arrival of the season’s first spot prawns as local fishermen return to the wharf with their catch.

                  1. re: grayelf

                    Picked up live Spots at T&T last week for $12.99/lb. It should go down to around $7.99/lb at the height of the season.

                      1. re: Tinfoilhat

                        $16 / lb is T&T today :(, but $13 in Yaohan, which is weird cause usually yaohan is more expensive.

                          1. re: KGill

                            just bought spot-prawns at Thrifty's yesterday : $13.50/lb