This is a question that doesn’t get asked often enough if you live in India.
While I’m not here to start a debate, our appetite for seafood made me wonder how fresh is fresh when it comes to fresh prawns or for that matter, any seafood that you buy in the market.
Logic obviously tells me that since Bangalore is a landlocked city, it can’t be selling seafood that’s really ‘fresh’. The catch comes from Chennai, Mangalore, Andhra Pradesh or Kerala. If you take into account the time it takes to catch, bring it to shore, packing, shipping, unpacking and then finally selling, you can easily assume that the entire cycle can take anywhere between 2 days to a week, with no guarantees on how the catch was stored during transit.
My question to you is, is that really fresh seafood you are buying? I don’t think so.
Now some of you must be wondering why we are taking a break from the regular programming aka recipes to ask these questions.
A few days ago, Denver and I were grocery shopping (my favorite weekday thing to do) and decided to pick up a bag of frozen prawns because we had a hankering for our favorite teriyaki prawns and broccoli. We were surprised at how fresh and juicy those frozen prawns were! Cleaned, deveined and ready to go, these prawns were the right size, plump and didn’t dry out on the pan like fresh prawns can sometimes.
Since then, we’ve stopped buying fresh prawns, unless we are in Mangalore where the catch is really fresh.
While I’m not saying frozen is always better than fresh, but the question you have to ask is – are you really getting fresh catch?
According to this article, most times you are buying seafood that’s been frozen and thawed to give it an appearance of being fresh. So if you believe that the jumbo prawns that you are tucking into or that prawn curry that you are drooling over was made with fresh prawns, you are in for a shocker! If not stored properly or frozen within a few hours of harvesting, prawns or seafood can start spoiling and can become unsafe for consumption.
Advantages of buying frozen prawns or seafood
My recommendation is that if you are unsure whether you have access to fresh prawns or seafood, always opt for frozen. The technology has come so far that with brands like ITC Master Chef for example, prawns are freshly frozen within 15 hours of harvest. Temperatures are controlled throughout the chain to make sure you always get fresh, soft and juicy prawns.
With 243 quality checks, this makes ITC Master Chef's prawns Super Safe for consumption. Each prawn is also Individually Quick Frozen (IQF). This helps prawns from clumping together when you thaw them, making life easier for you when you want to cook with them. Because these prawns are frozen to temperatures below zero, it stops any reactions that can lead to decay and the result is plump, juicy, clean prawns that are a pleasure to cook and eat!
Try these Prawn Recipes:
- Retro Prawn Cocktail
- Shrimp Chow Mein
- Shrimp Spaghetti Aglio Olio
- Goan Prawn Curry with Coconut
- Mexican Prawn Avocado Taco Salad
This is part 1 in a series of articles that we’ll be bringing to you about Prawns. Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think about our first part of Prawn 101. Thanks to our friends at ITC Master Chef for making this series possible.