Mushy shrimp.....

Jaksonbrown

Well-Known "Member"
May 10, 2010
986
337
63
snohomish,wa
Name
Cory
Boat
28' Kingfisher Weekender "The Wild Rose"
Ok...

So I thought I was a bit of a cook, but after last nights spot prawn cookout.....

I have prepared spot prawns many times, but last nights fresh prawns turned out mushy!?? I have never had hood canal prawns before, but I don't imagine they could be that much different than the ones we get up north in the San Juans....
I usually twist off the heads and then slice open the top of the shell to remove the blood vein, but that's about all I do. Garlic and butter.. a little Tonys seasonings and its usually to die for. Last nights were mushy.....

Anyone ever have this happen before? Any ideas?

How do you prepare your prawns?
Do you leave them in the shell? Cut it in half? Remove them?

Lets have your favorite prawn dishes and methods!!
 

sdfishkiller

Cod Smuggler
Mar 13, 2005
5,044
497
83
Point Loma
Name
Todd Victor Mora
Boat
19' Whaler: EL SUPER LIZARDFISH
were they alive when you cooked them? besides the beheading part. :)
 

blowboater

Fishing with Papa
Feb 19, 2004
729
6
18
53
san diego
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Joel
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35' cheoy lee - Sold
they get mushy if you cook them too long. need about a minute (maybe a little more) on each side. I've screwed them up myself a couple of times - they get super soft and mushy if cooked too long.

my favorite way to eat them is raw!

when i cook them i peel off all the shell first. it's just easier.

last night had a spot prawn feast - raw as sashimi to start, then some miso using shrimp stock, followed by a salad topped with prawns sauteed in olive oil with shallots - topped with a squeezed lemon and sea salt.

Didn't want any of the pork tenderloin after all that. :-)
 
O

oldfisherman#1

If your throwing the head away, your wasting the sweet juice in the head. I cook them whole, break the head off and suck the juice out, it's yummy. I have friends that save the sucked out heads and shells and make soup stock of them.

I agree with blowboater, probably over cooked a little.

However, it is also important to put them on ice right away while in the boat, this helps keep them nice and cool, fresh and firm.
 

Kool-Aid

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 18, 2008
1,796
744
113
WA
Name
Jason
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World Cat 266SF
This happend to me once.

Bodies sat in water while we continued to shrimp. When we were all done we then popped heads when we were all done. I had mushy shrimp that time. Only thing I could attribute it to was they were dead and submerged in water (not just sitting on ice).
 

Jaksonbrown

Well-Known "Member"
May 10, 2010
986
337
63
snohomish,wa
Name
Cory
Boat
28' Kingfisher Weekender "The Wild Rose"
This happend to me once.

Bodies sat in water while we continued to shrimp. When we were all done we then popped heads when we were all done. I had mushy shrimp that time. Only thing I could attribute it to was they were dead and submerged in water (not just sitting on ice).
That must be it.... I didn't run the live well like I usually do to keep them alive. I just put them in a bucket full of water. They were all dead when I got back.

Thanks for the tip and the education! I was really upset as I LOVE prawns and these were terrible.....
 

blowboater

Fishing with Papa
Feb 19, 2004
729
6
18
53
san diego
Name
Joel
Boat
35' cheoy lee - Sold
i bought mine right off the boat - alive. they were in the fridge a couple of hours and mostly still alive.
 

fishchasr

Member
Jun 1, 2009
789
105
43
Bremerton, WA
Name
Greg
Boat
2052 Trophy "Reelaxation"
We had the same issue - mushy shrimp. I was thinking it was the other way around - not cooked enough. Never had this problem before, especially with fresh (not frozen) shrimp. I know if you over cook them, they get rubbery.
 

Elkfins

Ungrateful Prick
Aug 8, 2008
4,287
3,233
113
Tacoma, WA
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Steve
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"Cleanup Required" '99 Grady White 232 Gulfstream
Koolaid is spot on. You don't want to leave them in water to die... I did this the first time I ever shrimped and ended up with mushy shrimp.
We seperate the head from the tail while they're still alive and put them on ice right away. Haven't had the mushy shrimp problem since.
 

Quan

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 21, 2009
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Bellingham, WA
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Quan
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Defiance Admiral 220 EX "Hawksbeard"
If you want to keep the heads on and not kill them, it's better to leave them in the bucket with no water.

Here's a little science lesson for ya. Gills work well to collect oxygen from water specifically because of their tremendous surface area that flow freely in water- the key is, the water supports the structure of the gills. Out of water, the gills collapse and stick together and lose most of their surface area. So, while air is orders of magnitude higher in oxygen levels over water, gills just don't work very well out of water- but they do work. This is why a fish or crustacean can stay alive out of water for a hell of a lot longer than we could survive underwater.

When you fill the bucket with water, you are making 80 some-odd shrimp all breathe in the same closed system. Where the shrimp usually have the entire Puget Sound to pull oxygenated water from, they now have a couple gallons of oxygenated water. The oxygen depletes quickly in this scenario and they all die of suffocation.

I'm no marine biologist or anything but this is my understanding and why I never put crab and shrimp in stagnant water to "keep them alive". I always prefer to keep them in the air if I don't have an aerator or flowing water. Changing the water in the bucket often might work too, but that seems like a big hassle.
 

10Super

Die-Hard
Sep 7, 2012
374
13
18
Lake Stevens
Name
Dave
Boat
Lund Renegade
I agree - Crab will live much longer in a cooler without water than they will in a bucket. I have kept crab overnight in a cooler and they were alive the next day. I have never shrimped, but I would imagine it's the same.
 

Chef Patrick

I Catch 'em and Cook 'em
Feb 24, 2011
564
182
43
Seattle/WA/USA
bait2plate.com
Name
Patrick
Boat
20' Weldcraft Rebel 202
I put them in a bucket of water right out of the trap for 10 or 15 minutes tops. In that time they'll pass/regurgitate a fair amount of waste, such as the cat food & ground fish I just fed them. After that they go on ice, but in something that will drain so that they don't sit in water.I always save the heads for stock, and usually peel them before cooking. I like to get the work out of the way before I sit down to eat. ;)
 

Waterdog~

Just one more
Sep 1, 2009
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Hollywood
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Brian
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Tiderunner
I agree with peeling before cooking..............last day area 10 and 11 now lets go get some
 

Kool-Aid

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 18, 2008
1,796
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WA
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Jason
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World Cat 266SF
Got mine....MA11 has been lights out. I'll let you know if mine are mushy in about 3 hours....
 

cabo jon

Carey-On
Jun 22, 2012
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Cameron Park/Moss Landing, Ca
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jon
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Carey-On
I dont know much about shrimp, but my experience with shell fish of other types tells me only cook while alive. I have had very negative results cooking crab if they died on the boat. Kill then cook. Or just cook while still alive. My .02.