How Long To Cook Prawns (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Approximately 3 – 10 Minutes

Seafood is delicious and is consumed throughout the world. These days, there is a wide variety of dishes for seafood lovers to gorge on. Prawns form an essential part of seafood and can be found in almost all seafood restaurants. Prawn is a common name for fish that can be cooked deliciously and eaten.

Prawns are mainly found in freshwater bodies. They are tastier than most varieties of fish available and also have a high nutritional content. Prawns are versatile and can be cooked in a variety of ways. It is amazing for one’s heart as it contains good fatty acids like omega 3 that keep the heart, healthy and fine.

They also contain many vital vitamins and minerals that are required by the body like vitamin A, E, potassium, phosphorous, iron, B12, B6, etc. It is loaded with protein and is a hit among fitness freaks as it has comparatively low calories than other meats. Being a low-fat food item, it is consumed by people who are trying to lose weight, providing them with a diet alternative without compromising the food’s taste.

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How Long To Cook Prawns?

Types Of PrawnsDuration
Medium-sized prawns3 – 4 minutes
Large-sized prawns5 -7 minutes
Jumbo-sized prawns7 – 10 minutes

Cooking prawns is quite easy and does not consume a lot of one’s time. It can be prepared in a jiffy with minimalistic preparation and can still taste amazing. There are several ways through which one can cook their prawns. The various methods of cooking prawns are steaming, grilling, frying, broiling, etc. One can also barbeque or saute it as per one’s desire.

Grilling, broiling, and steaming are ways through which one can prepare their prawns without worrying about their nutritional value getting diminished. They are cooked on high heat as they cook extremely quickly and thus, can form a perfect dinner recipe to make when unexpected guests come to one’s home. One can consume prawns guilt-free as when they are steamed or broiled, 100 grams of prawns contain just about 115 calories.

Raw prawns that are to be cooked should be cleaned properly and their shells should be appropriately removed. Depending upon the size of the prawn pieces, the cooking time can vary accordingly. Mainly, three varieties of prawns are available in the market. They are large-sized prawns, medium-sized prawns, and jumbo-sized prawns. Due to the varying sizes of prawns, one single cooking time cannot be concluded. However, prawns take about 5 to 10 minutes to get cooked.

Due to instant cooking on high heat, the taste, texture, and flavor is maintained and thus, the tenderness of the fish is preserved. However, this quickness in terms of cooking can prove as a disadvantage if the prawns are cooked for long. If they are overcooked, their texture changes, they no longer remain tender and soft but instead become chewy and tough. Overcooked prawns develop a rubbery texture that is not appetizing.

Why Does It Take This Long To Cook Prawns?

Prawns are similar to another variety of seafood called shrimps. Though both taste similar and are used interchangeably in certain recipes, prawns are larger as compared to shrimps. Prawns are decapods as they have 10 legs and are also referred to as crustaceans, meaning having an exoskeleton.

Being a versatile ingredient, prawns are paired with numerous different types of dishes that taste elysian. One can prepare basic stir-fry prawns or elaborate prawn curry dishes that can be served as a main course. Thus, prawns can be used to prepare any dish, simple or complex without taking too long to get cooked.

The prawns are sufficiently cooked when they turn pink and opaque. The ideal time for various prawn dishes is as follows. For stir-fry prawns, the fish needs to be cooked for 2 – 6 minutes according to its size, for barbeque or grill 3 – 4 minutes on each side is sufficient. For poach, prawns need to be cooked for 3 – 10 minutes according to size.

The color of the prawns is the best indicator to judge whether they are fully cooked or not. Thus, one can be on the lookout for pinkish-red accents with a white tinge, to stop cooking prawns and devour them before they get cold.


Prawns are the most widely eaten seafood item that is extremely delicious. They can be prepared in several ways and do not have a lengthy cooking procedure. Prawns get cooked in about 3 to 10 minutes, depending upon the size of the fish. The turning of the flesh into a shade of opaque pink is the sign that the prawns are sufficiently cooked and are ready for serving.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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