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Cook the perfect prawns by following these five easy steps

Image: Supplied

With summer in full swing and Christmas knocking on the door, South Africans are getting ready for that time of the year when everything shuts down, we consume unhealthy amounts of food and we take the time to reconnect and recharge.

To gear up for this, Ocean Basket has introduced their summer menu, calling it a Summer Prawn Extravaganza. At an event to launch this new menu, they prepared a range of dishes that are now available on their summer menu, including a prawn cocktail salad, Romesco prawns and the iconic King prawn platter.

To fully embrace the prawn extravaganza, we took to the kitchen to learn how to cook prawns the proper way, from deveining them to preparing a perfectly firm yet succulent serving. The result? It’s much simpler and certainly quicker than you may think!

Try it yourself:

1. Slice: Slice the prawn lengthwise from the bottom of its head down its belly, cutting through to form a butterfly shape.

2. Devein: Find the vein of the prawn starting at the bottom of the head running down into the tail. Remove this completely. If you prefer your prawn to cook without the head juices, you can either remove the head entirely or give it a squeeze. Be warned: at this stage a messy brown liquid will squirt out.

3. Rinse: Rinse the prawn under running water, ensuring it’s clean to be cooked.

4. Fry: Heat your pan and add a decent lug of oil or lump of butter. Add your preferred spice to the meaty part of the prawn (tip: Aromat will do the trick) and place in the pan once heated with the shell facing upwards. The prawns will cook very fast. Keep an eye on the colour of the shell: once the meat starts turning pink and the shell becomes translucent, turn the prawns over and cook on the other side for more or less the same time. The meat on the exposed side will turn white. The entire process shouldn’t take longer than two minutes but you’ll have to judge when it’s ready, depending on the size of the prawns.

5. Enjoy: Serve the prawn while hot, straight from the pan, with lemon and a sauce of your choice.