(Penaeus merguiensis & Penaeus indicus) Photographs
Also known as White Prawn or White Shrimp.
Banana Prawns are large, white prawns. They have poorly defined gastro-orbital
ridge and high toothed rostral crest. Their body is pale yellow or translucent and
speckled with reddish brown dots.
Banana Prawns inhabit tropical and subtropical waters. Banana prawns inhabit
coastal waters from shallow estuaries and intertidal areas to a maximum depth of 45
metres. They live in turbid waters for most of their lives, over muddy substrates in
estuaries and muddy sands offshore. Juveniles inhabit small creeks and rivers in a
sheltered mangrove environment in waters ranging from almost fresh to high salinity.
Adult banana prawns inhabit medium and low energy coastlines, although they can
withstand high energy cyclonic events. In northern Australia, schools of adults
frequently occur in depths between 16m and 25m. They also form aggregations which in
some areas become extremely dense and are known as "boils"
Banana Prawns can become sexually mature at about 6 months of age. Spawning
occurs throughout all of the shallow coastal zone inhabited by adults and older adults may
migrate shorewards at the time of spawning. Mating occurs during moulting.
Eggs are shed into the water prior to the moult and are fertilised externally by sperm
from the male.
Did you Know? Females can lay between 100,000 to 400,000 eggs, and can be laid in several batches.
The maximum life span is approximately 12-18 months.
How to Purchase the Freshest Prawns or Shrimp -
Fresh cooked shrimp are actually
cooked on board the vessel of capture the moment they are caught
and then refrigerated for maximum freshness before being
delivered to the markets which will be normally or hopefully
within 24hrs of capture.
Shark Bay, WA north & east to nth NSW
April-June, July - November
To 340mm total length
Australian Species Code
For every 100 grams raw product
for Prawn meat.
36% of total
23% of total
41% of total
About Banana Prawns:
Sizes of Prawns:
Prawns are graded according to the number of prawns per pound (445 grams) or per
U/10 = under 10 prawns per pound (extra large) (between 16 to 20 prawns to the
10/20 = 10 to 20 prawns per pound (medium) (between 22 to 42 prawns to the kilo)
20/30 = 20 to30 prawns per pound (small to medium) (between 44 to 67 prawns to
300/500 = 300 to 500 prawns per pound (extra small - shrimps) (between 675 to
1124 prawns to the kilo)
S & B = Soft and broken prawns - these are export 2nds due to slight damage or
soft shell due to prawn malting just prior to capture.
Tips:- when comparing prices always compare by asking the count per pound - the
lower the count the larger the size. The larger the size the higher the price
Available both wild-caught
and farmed, these are mostly marine dwelling Prawns with
juveniles sometimes found in sheltered estuaries and rivers,
usually among mangroves. They are found over muddy and sandy
bottoms in coastal waters to depths of 90m (Redlegs preferring
slightly deeper water than Whites). Found around the northern
coast of Australia from the NSW-Queensland border to Shark Bay
in WA, they are mainly caught by trawlers between Exmouth Gulf,
WA and Brisbane, with the bulk of the catch coming from the Gulf
of Carpentaria. They are translucent to yellow in colour with
tiny dark spots. The 2 species differ in leg colour: Whites have
cream to yellow legs and Redlegs have pink or red legs.
Available year round with peak supply in April. The fishery is
closed from December to March and again in July in NT, and from
December to February in WA.
Size and Weight
Commonly 20-30g and 14-17cm body length, but can grow to 75g and
25cm. Redlegs are slightly smaller than Whites.
Commercial Names: Australia: Banana prawn; White prawn Japan: Tenjikuebi; Bananaebi Malaysia: Udang kaki merah; Udang pasir Iran : Banana Shrimp , Brow tiger shrimp Pakistan: Jaira; Jiaro (both names used for other
species also) Philippines: Hipon buti (name also used for other
species) Thailand: Kung chaebauy
Banana prawns are a rising favourite
for Australians due to their light, sweet flavour. They
present well as they retain their shape when cooked. Banana
prawns are more commonly used in hot dishes rather than in
cold salads or platters.
The traditional cooking methods for other species of prawn
(such as shallow frying and barbecuing) can be used for
banana prawns. They are also ideal for use in seafood dishes
such as prawn cakes or terrines.
A favourite in Asian dishes, banana prawns are well suited
to spicy flavours. Chilli jam is an excellent accompaniment.
Thai-style coconut curries and avocado cocktails are also a
Banana Prawns have a Mild, Delicate
and sweet flavour
Banana prawns are medium-priced prawns. Redleg banana prawns
cost more than white banana prawns because of their brighter
colour and larger size.
Banana prawns are an economical
alternative to the
Banana prawns are mostly caught during the day, and in some
areas good annual catches are linked with heavy rainfall
earlier in summer.
The two species can be distinguished by their leg colour red
in the red leg banana prawn, and cream or yellow in the
white banana prawn
HOW MUCH SEAFOOD TO BUY:
Small 40-60 prawns per kilo
Medium 20 - 40 prawns per kilo
Large 10 - 20 prawns per kilo
- Allow approx. 300 - 400 grams per person.
How to peel a Green or Raw Prawn
Sydney Fish Market provides step by step instructions on how
to peel a 'green' or raw prawn perfectly!
Commercial Fishing for Banana Prawns:
The commercial fishery for Banana Prawns is one of Australia's most lucrative single
species trawl fisheries. The main fishery is centred on the Gulf of Carpentaria and
operates from about April through May. The main capture method is demersal otter
trawling. Other methods include beam trawling, pocket netting and beach seining.
Banana prawns are caught year round, with peak supply in
April. The banana prawn fishery is closed from December through March and again
in July in the Northern Territory. In various trawl fishery closures occur.