My fondness for prawns stems from my childhood when my dad would fry them and serve them with a side of buttery rice. I love how easy and quick they are to cook. In a fraction of the time, you can have these succulent shellfish on your plate.
I’ll be honest: I’m a terrible cook and can’t even crack eggs for the life of me. However, when it comes to cooking prawns, I’ve got this down pat. Nothing fancy about my approach, just a few seconds and a microwave.
Here’s how to microwave prawns.
Place your prawns on a microwavable platter in a single layer and loosely cover them with plastic wrap or a paper towel. Pop them in the microwave and reheat them in 30-second bursts, monitoring attentively to avoid overcooking. Once hot as desired, remove from microwave, and serve immediately.
For more insights on microwaving prawns, if they’re safe to cook in the microwave, how long they take to reheat, helpful tips, and much more, please read on.
Are Prawns Good for You?
Prawns are one of the healthiest seafood, with high levels of proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, antioxidants, and a low-calorie count.
I don’t know about you, but if you haven’t included these little crustaceans in your diet yet, you’re missing out. As they say, variety is the spice of life, so why not get some prawns into yours?
I know, I know – the looks can be off-putting at first. But trust me when I say this dish is a hit among the health-conscious crowd.
For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll love prawns because they’re low in calories. A 100g serving contains under 120 calories, less than half what you’d find in chicken and far less than beef or pork.
They are also a good source of protein, containing 24g per 100g. That’s almost as much as a turkey breast. Moreover, prawns are rich in selenium, an antioxidant mineral that helps protect cells from free radical damage. Selenium deficiency is associated with depression, dementia, and memory loss.
Oh, and did I mention they pack quite the punch of Omega 3s? Prawns have been shown to increase HDL cholesterol (the ‘good’ kind) while lowering LDL cholesterol (the ‘bad’ kind). Furthermore, their vitamin B12 concentration makes them ideal for patients who suffer from vitamin deficiency anemia.
There is no doubt that prawns deserve a spot on your dinner table.
Can You Cook Prawns in The Microwave?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but cooking prawns in the microwave is not recommended.
Prawns, like all seafood, have a delicate texture that calls for gentle handling. A fraction of a second too long, and you may end up with an overcooked, tough and rubbery dish. On the other hand, microwaves are infamous for cooking unevenly, leaving some parts of your food raw while overcooking others.
Now, with this in mind, imagine what would happen if you threw a few of these seafood delicacies into a microwave.
Let me spell it out for you. In essence, your succulent raw prawn will cook from the inside out, becoming dry and leathery, while some parts remain undercooked. This not only ruins the flavor but also increases the risk of food poisoning.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t reheat some leftover prawns from last night’s dinner in the microwave. In fact, it is an easy and quick way to turn these little guys back into their original juicy selves. Simply place them on a microwavable dish, cover them loosely with a paper towel, and microwave in short bursts until warm.
Can You Eat Prawns Raw?
Unfortunately, raw prawns are unsafe for consumption due to the risk of food poisoning.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), raw or uncooked seafood contain harmful bacteria that can cause severe illness if ingested. The risk of infection is particularly high in young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with impaired immunity.
Fortunately, cooking prawns kills bacteria, rendering them safe for consumption. And when I say “cooking” here, I don’t mean the hurry-up-and-get-it-done type of cooking. No, you want your prawns properly cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145° F or 63° C.
I recommend investing in a good meat thermometer for precise readings. Simply insert the probe into the thickest part of the prawn and wait 1-2 minutes for the reading to stabilize. Remove from heat once the reading has reached at least 145° F.
However, if you don’t have a meat thermometer, don’t panic! There are other ways to determine whether your prawns are thoroughly cooked. One technique is to examine the hue of their flesh; if it’s opaque all the way through, they’re done. The other option is to cut open a prawn and inspect the texture: the flesh should be white, firm, and easily separated with a fork.
How Long Should You Microwave Prawns?
Typically, it will take 30-60 seconds to reheat a batch of prawns in the microwave.
And since they are precooked and heat sensitive, you don’t want to microwave them for too long, or else they’ll turn rubbery and gross. My rule of thumb is to zap your prawns on high power for 30 seconds at a time until they reach your desired tenderness.
However, depending on the following factors, the time may vary:
- Size of the prawns: Large prawns take longer to cook than small ones due to their reduced surface area-to-volume ratio. In other words, they are less exposed to heat waves than their miniature counterparts.
- The number of prawns being microwaved at once: Although microwaving too many prawns at once takes less time, the uneven distribution of heat leaves some parts overcooked while others remain raw.
- Whether frozen or thawed: Frozen prawns require extra cooking time to defrost. On the other hand, fresh prawns are ready to microwave right out of the package.
- Microwave wattage: Some microwaves have stronger output than others, thus requiring different cooking times. For example, my 1000-watt microwave cooks faster than someone with an 800-watt model.
Tips For Microwaving Prawns
Below are a few tips for reheating prawns in the microwave.
1. Use only ceramic, glass, or any other microwave-safe containers. Avoid microwaving prawns in their original plastic packaging as they melt under high heat, leaching toxins into the food. I also recommend a large, deep container that can hold all of the prawns you’re reheating at once.
2. Overcrowding your plate will cause the prawns to steam rather than heat, resulting in a soggy meal. Instead, arrange them in a single layer, leaving space between each. This also ensures that all pieces heat up at the same rate.
3. To avoid drying out and overcooking the prawns, I find covering them with a microwavable lid or paper towel helps retain moisture.
4. If desired, a little seasoning can go a long toward making microwaved prawns taste delicious. A dash of salt, pepper, or even lemon juice enhances flavor without adding calories.
5. Last but not least, don’t forget about timing. Prawns have a delicate texture, and overheating them can result in a rubbery mess. For best results, microwave them for less than a minute or in 30-second bursts and monitor closely.
How To Microwave Prawns (Step by Step Guide)
Here are the instructions for reheating prawns in the microwave successfully.
- Thaw your frozen prawns by leaving them in the fridge overnight or submerging them in a bowl of cold water.
- Next, pat the defrosted prawns dry using kitchen paper towels.
- Arrange them in a single layer on a microwavable platter and season lightly with salt and pepper, if desired.
- Cover the plate loosely with a microwavable lid or paper towels, leaving vent holes for steam to escape.
- Microwave in 30-second increments on high, stirring after each until they’re hot enough to your liking.
- Remove the prawns from the microwave and serve immediately as a side dish, appetizer, or snack.
Can I Reheat Prawns Twice?
It is not recommended to reheat prawns more than once due to the increased risk of foodborne illness.
This is especially true for improperly stored prawns, as they are more likely to harbor harmful bacteria. Moreover, I find reheating these little crustaceans severally dries them out and ruins their natural flavor.
My advice, reheat your prawns only once, or better yet, eat them immediately so you can savor their fresh, luscious flavor. After that, toss them away and make some fresh ones.
How Long Do Prawns Last in The Fridge?
Prawns have a short shelf life and will stay fresh for 2-3 days when refrigerated.
This holds for both raw and cooked prawns. The USDA recommends storing them in an airtight container and at 40°F or below to inhibit bacterial growth and maximize shelf life. If your prawns develop green spots or a slimy texture, discard them since they are no longer safe to consume.
Although not the best method for cooking prawns, microwaving is a quick and easy way to reheat these delights. Make sure you don’t overcook them, or they will become tough and rubbery. Microwave them in 30-second bursts, monitoring their progress until hot as desired.
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