There are numerous species of prawns and shrimp found across the world, each with unique characteristics, flavours, and appearances. Here is an overview of some popular types of prawns and their origins:
- Tiger Prawn (Penaeus Monodon): Tiger prawns are named for their distinct striped pattern on their shell. They are native to the Indo-Pacific region, including countries like India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Australia. Tiger prawns are commonly farmed and can grow to a large size, making them popular in various cuisines.
- Whiteleg Shrimp (Litopenaeus Vannamei): Also known as Pacific white shrimp or king prawn, whiteleg shrimp are native to the Eastern Pacific, ranging from Mexico to Peru. They have a mild flavour and firm texture, and their adaptability to aquaculture has made them the most widely farmed shrimp species globally.
- Black Tiger Shrimp (Penaeus Monodon): Despite sharing the same scientific name as tiger prawns, black tiger shrimp have a dark, almost black shell, setting them apart visually. They are native to the Indo-Pacific region and are valued for their large size, firm texture, and bold flavour.
- Pink Shrimp (Pandalus Borealis): These cold-water shrimp are found in the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. They are known for their sweet flavour and tender texture. Pink shrimp are typically smaller than other popular prawn species and are often used in salads, pasta dishes, and shrimp cocktails.
- Banana Prawn (Penaeus Merguiensis): Banana prawns are native to the Indo-Pacific region, particularly the waters around Australia and Southeast Asia. They have a mild, sweet flavor and are often used in dishes like stir-fries and curries.
- Ang Kar Prawns (Solenocera Spp.): Reg Leg Prawns are native to Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia and Singapore, and are highly prized in these regions for their distinct flavour and texture. They have a firm, succulent texture and a sweet, robust flavour that sets them apart from other prawn species. These prawns are often used in traditional Southeast Asian dishes like noodles, stir-fries, and curries, where their unique taste and texture can shine.
These are just a few examples of the many prawn species found around the world. Each species has its own unique characteristics, flavour profile, and culinary applications. It's important to note that the terms "prawn" and "shrimp" are often used interchangeably, particularly in the United States. However, prawns and shrimp belong to different suborders within the order Decapoda, and their anatomical differences can be distinguished by their gill and body structure.