As a marine biologist I know that a prawn is a prawn, and not a shrimp. Prawns and shrimps, although quite similar, belong to distinct biological groups, separated by many characteristics, including differences in gill structure and the way the female carry their eggs. Is this of any culinary or gastronomic relevance? As far as I know the answer is no. Thus, I will continue calling my Farfantepenaeus paulensis (São Paulo or pink shrimp) a shrimp, even though I know it’s a prawn. And the reason is simple, it sounds better.
In the Rio Grande region (southern Brazil) the shrimp fishing season lasts only a couple of months, from February until April (or May in some good years). This year Vanderlei (a fisherman friend who surprised me with those wonderful tuna) gave me around 20 kg (around 44 lb) as a present, and I’ve bought another 20 kg of shrimp, which were then frozen (without the head but with the shells) for future use.
And the future has just arrived. I peeled (not all the 40 kg, of course) and seasoned them with minced garlic and ginger, fresh red pepper, sesame seed oil and soy sauce. After about 1/2 h in the fridge they were fried in a wok with 2 table spoons of soybean oil, diced onions and red and yellow bell peppers. Add some oyster sauce and they are ready to be served over white rice.