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Where To Find Spot Prawns

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mochapj May 14, 2010 07:01 AM

Hi all,
Being that it's spot prawn season, I was wondering if anyone knew of a place where you can find them in Toronto with some reliability?

I tried the 3 fish markets in St Lawrence last weekend, and 2 of the 3 didn't even know what I was talking about!!!?? The 3rd place told me they just don't carry them at all.

I'm sure someone must have some... can you help a Chowhound out?

Thanks!
p.

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  1. a
    acd123 RE: mochapj May 14, 2010 07:22 AM

    Bill's Lobsters and Diana's Seafood. They may be in now.

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    Bill's Lobster
    599 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

    Diana's Seafood
    2101 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

    11 Replies
    1. re: acd123
      jayt90 RE: acd123 May 14, 2010 07:57 AM

      T&T had them live, last year.

      1. re: jayt90
        m
        mramage RE: jayt90 May 14, 2010 12:22 PM

        Advertised at T&T at $13.98/lb but from May 14th to 17th only.

        1. re: mramage
          Charles Yu RE: mramage May 14, 2010 03:43 PM

          I was at Warden/Steeles T&T this morning. Did not see any!! Only special was canner size lobster for $4.97 each!

          1. re: Charles Yu
            dachopstix RE: Charles Yu May 14, 2010 04:34 PM

            There's a small seafood supplier at Silver Star Blvd & Midland Avenue (South-West side plaza), they have a lot of Spotted Prawns and other goodies, including an excellent selection of oysters. The seafood place is next to a Tae-Kwon Do dojo and a Chinese comic book store.

            1. re: Charles Yu
              pinstripeprincess RE: Charles Yu May 15, 2010 12:41 PM

              t&t cherry street has them, not terribly fresh though with many dead.

              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                foodyDudey RE: pinstripeprincess May 15, 2010 12:44 PM

                Well I'll run right over and get some! This is typical of T&T seafood. Mainly junk.

                1. re: foodyDudey
                  skylineR33 RE: foodyDudey May 15, 2010 12:51 PM

                  Why do you still want to get it if you know most of them are dead ??! yuck.

                  1. re: foodyDudey
                    pinstripeprincess RE: foodyDudey May 15, 2010 01:07 PM

                    aging makes everything better!

                    can you contribute where you've seen a healthy selection of spot prawns? or perhaps verify (or dispel) a flyer sale ad posted here by a CHer?

                    1. re: pinstripeprincess
                      Chester Eleganté RE: pinstripeprincess May 15, 2010 02:55 PM

                      the ones at T&T promenade yesterday were fresh and healthy.

                      1. re: Chester Eleganté
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                        childofthestorm RE: Chester Eleganté May 15, 2010 06:40 PM

                        I got the last 8 at T&T Cherry today and they were TOO alive, half hour later they were flopping and squirming as I ripped their heads off. It was a bit of a gong show in my kitchen, that's for sure. I could never be a chef, wayyyyyy too squeamish about all that.

                        But throw them in a pan with butter, garlic, parsley, mixed with some pasta, oh man were they good.

              2. re: mramage
                skylineR33 RE: mramage May 14, 2010 05:30 PM

                Don't go to T&T this time (the one at Warden has it, there is none in the one at Middlefield), I was there and the spot prawn and not fresh, most are dead ! Go to Star Lobster on Midland, I picked up 3 lbs of spot prawn, all alive, hugh, $17/lb ! I also picked up some huge scallop on shell, ~$6 each

          2. e
            eatravel RE: mochapj May 15, 2010 06:25 AM

            We got our spot prawns at City Fish just this week. All were alive when we got them home... and continued to move even when I removed their heads!!! They were the sweetest, most lobster-y shrimps I've had in a long time.

            1. m
              mochapj RE: mochapj May 15, 2010 06:53 AM

              Thanks for all of the recommendations.

              I probably should have specified that I don't have a car, so taking the TTC to Scarborough for spot prawns is probably not in the cards. Not that I haven't travelled further for food, I'd just be worried about how to keep them fresh for such a trek.

              That being said, I think Bill's is close to me, so I will give them a call to check them out, as well as the T&T that's downtown.

              Thanks again!

              4 Replies
              1. re: mochapj
                Flexitarian RE: mochapj May 15, 2010 10:31 AM

                Every time I have seen them at Bill's they've been alive and hopping around in the aquarium.

                1. re: Flexitarian
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                  Danada RE: Flexitarian May 16, 2010 11:50 AM

                  I picked some up from Bill's yesterday, I think there were 16 and 15 of them were very lively, with one deceased, not sure if it died before or after they sold it to me. They were very good.

                  1. re: Danada
                    1sweetpea RE: Danada May 16, 2010 01:17 PM

                    Two questions for all the spot prawn hounds out there: 1) how long can you keep them alive once you bring them home from the store, and 2) can you toss them in a hot pan with seasonings whole and still alive (meaning: can I avoid having to kill them one by one with my hands/knife)?

                    1. re: 1sweetpea
                      d
                      Danada RE: 1sweetpea May 16, 2010 01:35 PM

                      Don't know how long they keep alive, but yes you can just throw them into the pan. They protest surprisingly little when being fried alive as compared to when being doused in wine or handled. They'll live for a minute or so though and continue to twitch, if that bothers you.

              2. Charles Yu RE: mochapj May 16, 2010 01:49 PM

                I just bought two pounds of huge, live, jumping ones from ' Lobster Island Seafood Co ' at 27 Milliken Blvd, Unit D, Scarborough for only $14.99 per pound!
                I love the approach they took in selling the prawns. First they use a huge net to scoop up the prawns from the main aquarium tank before putting them in a container. Then they ' hand pick' the live ones by hand and put them in a light weight plastic bag ( rather than heavy brown paper bags ) before weighing. This way, they eliminate weighing excess water that comes with the prawns and also ensuring the customer is getting the live ones and not with dead ones in the mix! Nice to see such ethical and fair business practice!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Charles Yu
                  pinstripeprincess RE: Charles Yu May 16, 2010 03:13 PM

                  at t&t cherry street they were hand picking prawns straight from the tank into mesh baskets (drains water) and into plastic bags as well. if they grabbed a not so lively one it went back into the tank. if asking for larger ones, they easily obliged.

                  any dead ones remained at the bottom of the tank. for childofthestorm to have gotten the last 8 and them being lively, it must've meant they cleaned up the tank between when i and they went, so essentially at the end of the day.

                  my previous comment was to mark the lack of product available at the time and their state in case anyone was looking for 'cheap' prawns.

                2. aser RE: mochapj Jul 11, 2010 11:20 PM

                  This past week was the end of the season in BC if I"m correct. I tried looking for some on the weekend at T&T and Foodymart (Warden), but was out of luck.

                  Anybody still see them around? I'll give Bill's a ring tomorrow since I'm back downtown now. Didn't have time to check whether the Midland/Finch shop had them.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: aser
                    haggisdragon RE: aser Jul 12, 2010 05:02 AM

                    I was in Bill's last wednesday and he told me the season was over.

                    1. re: haggisdragon
                      aser RE: haggisdragon Jul 12, 2010 10:08 AM

                      thanks, I kinda knew it but was holding out hope. Alas....

                      1. re: aser
                        Charles Yu RE: aser Jul 12, 2010 05:27 PM

                        Yes Aser, season is over for the BC variatal. Next thing to look forward to is the ' Florida live spot prawns' season starting in November. They should be available at the corner seafood store at Finch and Midland. Staring from $22 per pound they can drop as low as $14.

                        1. re: Charles Yu
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                          childofthestorm RE: Charles Yu Jul 12, 2010 05:32 PM

                          HOPEFULLY there will be Florida spot prawns...cuz I'm pretty sure those are fished out of the Gulf, no?

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