Think about the last time you ate seafood; were you able to distinguish between the shrimp and the prawns? Most of us don’t think twice before eating either one and would probably have difficulty spotting the differences between the two. It’s no surprise really since both shrimps and prawns are decapods, crustaceans with 10 legs. However, we are here to clear up the confusion and give you some clues on how to spot the difference between shrimps and prawns.
To start differentiating between shrimp and prawns, we can begin by examining the physical and biological differences between the two.
There are three easy indicators that set shrimps apart from prawns.
First, shrimps have claws on two of their legs, whereas prawns have claws on three of their legs. This is easy to spot if you’ve seen them unpeeled before purchasing. The second physical difference is in their shell. A shrimp will have the second segment of their shell overlap the first and the third segment. Prawns, on the other hand, will have their shells overlap all the way to their tails. This gives the shrimp its distinct bend in their body, while in prawns it will not be so prominent.
The third way to differentiate the two physically is simply by their size. Shrimps are generally much smaller than prawns. This is due to the difference in their habitat; where shrimps live in saltwater and prawns are more commonly found in freshwater.
Now that you know the physical differences, is there actually a difference in their taste?
For the most part, there will be very little difference in terms of taste. Culinary-wise, the one thing you may be able to notice is the difference in texture, as prawns are generally larger and therefore have a bigger footprint on your tastebuds. However, this larger size does come at a price. Prawns’ meat also tends to be tougher to chew once they get cold, therefore it’s better to consume as soon as they are served. Shrimps, on the other hand, will provide more consistent texture regardless of whether you’ve just cooked them, or are reheating them again.
When deciding between shrimp or prawns, most people are more concerned about the origin of the seafood, their habitats, pricing, and other culinary-related matters. Shrimp and prawns have varying flavor profiles, making one better than the other depending on the specific dishes. It all comes down to personal preference and which one suits your recipe better!
We hope this article has given you insight into the differences between Shrimps and Prawns. As you’ve read, they are quite different animals. Choosing between the two comes down to the size you want to serve to your guests and what recipes you want to serve them with. However, if we had to choose, it would be the shrimp due to their consistent texture.
Are you looking to cook shrimp? Head over to our website to view our curated selection of shrimps!
Puri Pangan Utama is the trusted food distributor based in Bali. We provide high-quality ingredients for our customers and business partners, including shrimps and other seafood. Shop from our food selections by visiting our website!