I may have missed king crab season, but I was determined that B.C. spot prawn season didn’t pass me by.
Spot prawns are local to B.C. and their season is a mere 8 weeks. Restaurants take advantage of this season and you will see them on many menus. Forget the usual rubbery ebi at your sushi joint and have sashimi spot prawns instead for a sweet and succulent treat. The best part about these little guys is that they are sustainable.
The Chef’s Table Society held their 6th annual spot prawn festival. $12 gets you a plate where you get 3 prawns and all the fixings. Vikram Vij was serving the prawns and reminded everybody to eat the prawn heads. Sounds gross, but it really is tasty.
The prawns have a sweetness to it and a salty ocean taste. R thinks they taste a bit like lobster meat. They’re pretty juicy, so the big napkins that were handed out came in handy.
False Creek Fisherman’s wharf boats sell them starting at noon daily for $12/pound (note: they are now selling for $14/pound). You’ll want to get there early as the line gets quite long. When you buy live spot prawns, you only have about 4 hours before they start getting mushy. To keep them longer, you will need to get over your squeamishness and remove their heads…while they are still alive. If that makes you feel faint, you can buy them frozen. Just be sure it’s just the tails so you don’t get mushy ones. You can purchase spot prawns at Lobsterman, Longliner, Salmon Shop on Granville Island.
Tips for attending the festival:
– Buy the pre-sale tickets online. Once the pre-sale tickets are finished, there are reserved tickets available the day of at the festival. But the line up is long, so it’s better to save yourself the hassle.
– Arrive early. A good 20-30 minutes before it starts will ensure a shorter wait and you won’t have to worry if they’re running low on anything.
– Take transit. With so many people at the festival along with the usual Granville Island crowd, parking would have been a nightmare.