|Image by laurent KB via Flickr|
|Costco Wholesale sells farmed prawns from Vietnam.|
I stopped at Costco Wholesale on Sunday afternoon to pick up a few items -- raw almonds, organic spring mix, hothouse-grown beefsteak tomatoes and Japanese green tea -- and drifted over to the fish case.
I had taken a break from wild salmon and looked for more. I noticed the fillets from the Northwest went up a dollar, to $8.99 a pound, still a good deal.
Then I saw the biggest prawns I've ever seen in the Hackensack store.
The farmed Black Tiger Prawns from Vietnam were designated U-4 -- four to a pound -- and unlike the smaller ones I've been buying for a couple of years, they are sold with the heads on.
They measured 6 inches or more, and between the head and tail, each had about three inches of meat under the shell. They were $12.99 a pound, compared to $9.99 or $9.50 a pound for the smaller prawns.
I marinated them in fresh lemon juice and spices in their shells for a few hours before pan frying them in olive oil for about 5 minutes on each side, until the shells turned pink, then put them under the broiler for a few minutes more.
Next time, I'll remove the shells before marinating and cooking the prawns, because the delicious meat needed a squeeze of lemon juice before I ate it.
Shelling them was incredibly messy, with the spices getting all over my fingers, but the prawns were succulent, the best I've ever had.
All I needed to complete the meal was a glass or two of wine, a small bowl of gazpacho I made earlier in the day, and a big salad of Earthbound Farm spring mix with cucumber, tomato, extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The five giant prawns I bought had been packaged by Costco, but in the past, I've brought home smaller prawns labeled "SeaMazz," the trade name of the Mazzetta Co. in Highland Park.
The U-4 prawns were treated with a preservative, sodium bisulfite, but the Seamazz U-15 farmed prawns from Bangladesh I have in the freezer weren't.