Prawns and shrimp may look like they are the same thing, but these crustaceans differ in several ways beyond just their size. Shrimp and prawns are two different species, and choosing one over the other could affect the result of your recipe.
6 Differences Between Prawns and Shrimp
The most obvious difference between prawns and shrimp is their size. Prawns are much larger than shrimp and often contain more meat.
2. Body Structure
A common distinction of prawns and shrimp is the structure of their bodies. Shrimp typically have shorter bodies and gills that are plate-like. In contrast, prawns tend to have longer bodies and bran
3. Legs and Claws
The length of the legs and claws are another main distinction between prawns and shrimp. Prawns tend to have longer legs and claws on three of their five pairs of walking legs, while shrimp usually have shorter legs and claws.
Shrimp are more flexible than prawns. With a flexible shell, shrimp are easy to bend when needed. Whereas, prawns have a tougher exterior with overlapping shell parts, so you’ll need to remove the shell before you can bend the meat.
Prawn meat is sweeter than shrimp meat when cooked and is often a bit more tender. Therefore, prawns are more common to eat on their own.
Some species of shrimp are called prawns, like the short-seasoned spot prawn, which can cause consumer confusion. Prawns, however, are never labeled as shrimp.
Can You Use Shrimp in a Recipe That Calls for Prawns?
Shrimp and prawns are close enough in flavor that they can be used for the same recipes without needing to worry. Just be aware that shrimp are smaller than prawns, so any recipe calling for prawns will require an increased number of shrimp and potentially less cook time to achieve the same effect.
The only exception to this is baked prawn recipes in which the prawn is served by itself with a side like potatoes or vegetables. Using shrimp will not create the same effect, so it is recommended to stick with prawns for these recipes.