Market Name: Freshwater shrimp
Scientific Name: Macrobrachium rosenbergii
Common Name: Giant freshwater prawn, Malaysian prawn, Hawaiian blue prawn, giant river prawn
Flavor: Mild
Texture: Medium/Firm

More than 200 species of freshwater prawns, all members of the family Palaemonidae, are important to the commercial market. The most important belong to the genus Macrobrachium, and the freshwater shrimp most common to Western markets is the giant M. rosenbergii, also known as giant river prawn. It is found wild from Pakistan and northwest India to Malaysia, New Guinea, the Philippines and northern Australia and is farmed in freshwater areas throughout the world. In the United States, it is commercially farmed in Hawaii and experimentally in some southern states, notably Tennessee. This fast-growing shrimp can reach a weight of 4 to 6 ounces. In the wild, it can attain lengths of over 1 foot. In cultured ponds, it is generally harvested at 6 to 7 inches, or about six prawns per pound, head-on. There are limited markets for live or fresh giant prawns; most are sold as frozen tails.

Product Profile:
The freshwater shrimp has a delicate, sweet flavor, somewhat like lobster, and firm, white flesh. Some say the flavor and texture aren’t as satisfying as those of the Penaeid shrimp species. The shrimp gets the name “Hawaiian blue prawn” from its bright-blue tail and long blue legs and antennae. The tail is the only edible part of the animal.

You Should Know:
Giant freshwater shrimp are more perishable than other species so should be kept cold until they are processed. The flesh can soften excessively if left in a chilled state too long with the head on. Blanching prior to chilled holding is recommended.

Cooking Tips:
Cooking freshwater shrimp with the heads on preserves the natural juices and enhances the delicate flavor. They can be cooked peeled or in the shell, but the meat stays firmer in the shell. If boiling, bring the liquid to a brisk boil before inserting the shrimp and cook for 4 minutes.

Cooking Methods: Bake,Boil,Broil,Grill,Saute'

Substitutions: Lobster, Warmwater shrimp

Primary Product Forms:
Fresh: Whole (rare)
Frozen: Tails, shell-on or off; whole

Global Supply: