First thing's first–Before starting any dish, you should always ensure that your prawns are still fresh and have not begun to spoil. Eating bad shellfish is one of the most common causes of food poisoning, and your health is not worth risking.
Refer to our blog post on how to spot spoilage and extend the freshness of your King Prawns.
Got you fresh King Prawns? It's time to clean and prep!
To pull or not to pull (the head) is entirely up to you and how you want to cook them or, as the recipe suggests. We think there is fantastic flavor in our prawn heads, but know that is not for everyone. But, for this post, we are going head off. So, place one hand on the head and one hand on the body and twist!
Take off the shell using a sharp paring knife or (if you have them) kitchen shears cut the shell along the prawn's back, from its head to its tail. Some pros cut towards the flesh to make a shallow incision on the back to expose the vein. Either way, once you've cut the shell, pinch the underbelly, pop the flesh out from the shell, and (optionally) remove the tail.
Take out the vein with the tip of your knife and discard it on a paper towel. If you've not managed to reveal the vein, simply follow the same path along the back of the shrimp, cutting about half a centimeter, and you'll see it.
Pat them dry with a clean paper towel or kitchen towel, and you're ready to cook! If your prawns are still wet when in a hot pan with oil, it will splatter, and we just don't want that.