Getting schooled about prawns

What do you know about school prawns? Not much. Well I’m sure that has absolutely nothing to with the fact that you live in a dark damp mountain cave in the middle of, err, the mountains…
School prawns. *Insert old English voice here. “School prawns? Prawns that go to school? Absolutely ludicrous man. What will they think of next? The coital union of two bearded men? Or maybe they’ll allow women to vote for Parliament? School prawns indeed”
Off to class with their tiny little bags and lunchboxes…
No, no, no.
School prawn is the name used to describe the translucent brown/green bodied mostly smallish prawns found near river mouths. The prawns that are caught, deep fried and then deposited into my mouth. Sweet and crispy. Salty and lemony. Eaten whole like you’re living in South East Asia. Shell and head and everything. And they are cheap like the South East Asian lady-boy prostitute as well. The only extras you need are some kind of mayonnaise and a cold beer. Or tequila would be nice I think. Or a warm beer if that’s the best you can do.


(for 4-6 people as beer snacks)
1kg fresh school prawns, the smaller the better (should cost you about 8-10 bucks from the local fish monger)
2 cups polenta or semolina
2 eggs, whisked in a bowl big enough to one day house the prawns also
Oil to deep fry
2 tablespoons sumac
Sea salt
Lemon or lime or both if you wanna get crazy
• Heat oil over medium flame to 180C (Oil thermometer or your finger. Please don’t actually use your finger (I need to cover myself for these things))
• Coat the prawns in the egg mixture
• Toss the prawns in the polenta, then into a colander and shake off any excess polenta.
• In 3-4 batches fry the prawns for two or so minutes until they are crisp and golden. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Repeat until all prawns are cooked.
• Season with sumac and sea salt.
• Serve with lemon and smoked paprika mayonnaise (you can work that one out, yeah?)
Don’t be afraid of the shells guys… don’t be afraid.

4 responses to “Getting schooled about prawns”

  1. Entertaining post as always. If I have eaten a school prawn, I didn’t know it. Do you think most of us have eaten them and known it?

    I have never paid for a lady boy but I hung out with some in Thailand last year. Really lovely once you get to know them…and they sure know how to party. 🙂

    Your prawns look great. When I eat deep fried prawn cutlets I always eat the tail. I find deep frying changes the texture and they’re light and crispy. Nice use of polenta too. I’m not a fan of mushy polenta so I have a bag of stuff that is awaiting another purpose. Never thought to use it in place of breadcrumbs or panko.

    • Nah. They’re usually 3-4cm long and easily devoured whole.
      Sounds like I should of had you write the story from your experience 🙂
      And polenta is a good coating for fish an schnitzel too. And it’s gluten free if that means anything to anyone…

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