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2014 spot prawn season

Has anyone seen live spot prawns this year? Any price comparison?

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  1. This year's season opens May 8.

    1. The eighth annual Spot Prawn Festival is being held on Saturday, May 10 at the False Creek Fisherman's Wharf.

      1. Saw spot prawns at T&T Coquitlam yesterday. They looked nice to me ... can't remember price tho.

        1. Saw them at T&T Tinseltown yesterday for 16.99 per lb

          1. I saw a handful at Granville Island - on ice and can't recall if they were beheaded or not. If not - avoid!
            Also, they were US caught - as I suspect the T&T ones are too.

            3 Replies
            1. re: kinnickinnik

              avoid with heads on or with heads off? What is the implication either way just for my education?

              1. re: J and V

                Avoid with heads on unless they're live and kicking. The head releases digestive enzymes upon death leading to mushy, gross shrimp meat.
                ETA: http://wildbcspotprawns.com/wp/handling/

            2. $15 a pound at the False Creek wharf today.

              $20.99 on Granville Island (!!!)

              7 Replies
              1. re: superhunk

                I know this thread is more about where to buy them to prep at home but here's a link to Eater Vancouver's list of places to get them cooked for you. Interesting that no Chinese restos are listed. http://vancouver.eater.com/archives/2...

                1. re: grayelf

                  I think it's because Chinese (e.g. Cantonese) cuisine prefers species such as tiger prawns. The texture is different, and thus the cooking style; I had cooked spot prawn for the first time, I thought it was mushy and tasteless.

                  But spot prawns are a major delicacy in Japan, where they are eaten raw; in Japanese they are artfully called botan-ebi, or "peony prawn". Thus not surprising that this list has lots of Japanese and Japanese-influenced restaurants. Actually, the Japanese species is Pandalus nipponensis, whereas in BC we have Pandalus platyceros.

                  1. re: calf

                    The first time I ever had spot prawns was in a higher end canto restaurant in Richmond. I'm actually not a huge fan -- I much prefer side stripes myself. I like raw prawns at Japanese restos but would imagine they don't use spot prawns here out of season, as the price would be prohibitive, no?

                    1. re: grayelf

                      Tks grayelf for mentioning side stripes: we had them at a dock side trailer in a cruise stop several years ago. I think it was in June. They were loaded with roe! Probably the best prawns/shrimp I've ever tasted. Any chance of finding them in Van later this month?

                      1. re: RWCFoodie

                        Organic Ocean should have them if you want to prep them yourself -- apparently these babies are now Oceanwise which is good news. I generally do that so not sure which restos would have them...

                        1. re: grayelf

                          Wish we could find them next week :-)

                    2. re: calf

                      I've always liked Koon Bo's spot prawns pan-fried with soy sauce because the head is on there, and it's full of juices to suck out. Best part of the prawn, IMO. Also a big fan of the spot prawn fried with peppery salt at Kirin on Cambie (because in this case the head is nice and crispy to eat whole, along with legs, etc.).

                      So the Chinese preparations are tops in my book.

                2. it's odd - when i took the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale (Sunshine Coast / Gibsons) last sp prawn season - there were many orange trap buoys out there in Howe Sound - and boats managing the traps

                  whereas this year - only a couple of trap buoys toward the Langdale end of the voyage. Maybe there is a limit on the commercial harvest this year? I don't know.

                  where are the spot prawns coming from that everyone is buying in Vancouver area?

                  1 Reply
                  1. I think it's great that spot prawns are well marketed and there is a demand for it. But not all spot prawns are equal in quality, taste and texture.
                    Tasting a freshly caught spot prawn off the waters in BC is NOT the same as spot prawns at T&T.
                    I do miss the spot prawns at Koon Bo for sure. They are delish, as well.
                    I believe if you go around 3pm at the granville island wharf, when the boats are back from the water, it is about $17/lb ..