Friday, April 17, 2009

My Apologies, Mr. Prawn

One of the new things I have learned while on this externship is how to prepare shrimp/prawns. I'm going to use the names interchangeable because there is not much difference between the two. Generally, large shrimp are loosely referred to as "prawns".

Today I finished the prep list early and one of the chefs asked if I could stay an extra hour to help other people out, so I said yes (I could use more $!).

My tasks:
  • Take heads off of smaller shrimp
  • Keep heads on prawns for "Chili Prawn" dish
  • Peel all 
  • Remove tails on "utility" shrimp (too small so they get chopped up)
  • De-vein all shrimp
Taking the heads off is gross, sorry. I had to do it before with Lobsters at one of my past jobs and I didn't enjoy it too much, especially since those guys were still alive (barely though, they were in a refrigerator-induced coma). All the brains and juices coming out. Not my cup o' tea.

Peeling the prawns was no big deal. They shed all the time and it's a natural thing.

De-veining is not hard, but it's certainly not my favorite thing to do. A small cut is made along the back of the shrimp tail and the vein is removed with a utility knife. No big deal for the shrimps with no heads.

Then I started doing the prawns (with heads) and I got to thinking about how awful it would be if I had to do this while they were alive. I think if I ever saw a gulf prawn out in the water I would absolutely freak out. They are scary looking! Almost alien-like. Buggy eyes, long antennae and a pointy head.

-just look at how freaky this guy is!
But then again, prawns are amazingly put together. Tiny little legs and somehow they get places. And there are so many of them! Wow!

So sorry Mr. Prawn for peeling you, ripping your head off and taking out your vein so people can enjoy you.

Just hope this guy doesn't find me in my dreams.

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