Coldwater vs Warmwater Prawns

There’s more to differentiating prawns from just size. Within prawns, there are a variety of different species and types.

Each type of prawn has a particular texture and flavour. Once you understand the differences between them, you can cook the best ones for your dish.

Coldwater prawns

Coldwater prawns brineColdwater prawns, as their name suggests, originate from cold and icy waters. Typically these are of the spp Pandalus borealis and are wild caught in the North Atlantic between Canada and Norway. In these areas, the prawns grow slowly which develops their taste. The taste is very delicate and they have a firm yet juicy texture. As the taste is so delicate, you must be careful not to overpower them. These prawns tend to work best in a cold dish with mild ingredients. Coldwater prawns are ideal for starters, sandwiches, or salads. They’re the typical prawns used in the iconic British Classic, the prawn cocktail. Although often found peeled, coldwater prawns with their shells on are delicious and used for the pub favourite, a pint of prawns. View all of our coldwater prawns and discover more about their sourcing here.

Warmwater prawns

Jumbo King PrawnsAgain, the descriptive name of warmwater prawns explains where they’re from. These prawns can be found in warmer climates such as Asia or South America. Although warmwater prawns can be caught in the wild, typically they are farmed. The Big Prawn Co sources farmed warmwater prawns from South East Asia (including Indonesia and Vietnam) and Madagascar. Common types of warmwater prawns include tiger prawns (eg Penaeus monodon) and king prawns (eg Penaeus vannamei). These types of prawns are much meatier and larger than coldwater prawns. Due to this, they’re able to handle robust flavours. They’re great for cooking with or without their shells, including Asian dishes as they can take on the bold flavours such as chilli and coriander. To find out more about some of our warm water prawns and their origins, click here.

The different types of prawns have their own merits. By understanding these, your cooking of prawns can become much easier and more advanced.

Try this fragrant King Prawn Broth for a fiery flavour of warm water prawns


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