Tiger Prawn

Penaeus monodon (Black Tiger Prawn)
Marsupenaeus japonicus (Kuruma Prawn)
Penaeus esculentus (Brown Tiger Prawn)
Penaeus semisulcatus (Grooved Tiger Prawn)

Tiger Prawn



Tiger Prawns are pale brown to bluey green with distinct grey, blue or black stripes; Black Tiger Prawns are the most common aquaculture Prawn in Australia.

Brown and Grooved are available wild-caught, while Black and Kuruma are almost exclusively farmed, though Black and Brown are both found around the northern coast of Australia from central NSW to Shark Bay, WA, and Grooved are found from Rockhampton to Augustine, WA.

Tiger Prawns are both marine and estuarine, preferring sandy and muddy bottoms in coastal waters usually less than 30m deep, but found at up to 150m. Juveniles are found in estuaries among seagrass and mangroves.

Black and Kuruma are farmed mostly between Cooktown and Brisbane, Queensland, with some in NSW and NT. Brown are mainly trawled off NT and Queensland, with some off NSW, and Grooved are trawled off NT and Queensland (as far south as Rockhampton), plus in the Timor Sea off WA.

Other Names

Blue Tiger Prawn, Giant Tiger Prawn, Jumbo Tiger Prawn, Leader Prawn, Panda Prawn, Tropical Prawn (Black); Common Tiger Prawn, Green Tiger Prawn, Northern Tiger Prawn (Brown); Green Tiger Prawn, Northern Tiger Prawn (Grooved); Japanese King Prawn (Kuruma).


Penaeidae (Penaeid Prawns).


Farmed Black are available year-round. Farmed Kuruma are available from February to September with peak supplies from March to May.

Brown and Grooved are available year-round, with peaks from February to May; NT and WA fisheries are closed December to March, and NT again in July.

Size and Weight

Black are commonly 20-30g and 10-13cm body length, but, as one of the largest Prawns in Australian waters they can reach 150g and 35cm. Others are commonly 35-50g and 11-20cm.


High priced.


Other Penaeidae Prawns, such as Banana and King Prawns.

To Buy

Look for brightly coloured, firm, intact, lustrous shells, without any discolouration, particularly at joints, and a pleasant fresh sea smell. Prawns are highly perishable in their raw state and so are often frozen or boiled at sea as soon as they are caught. If cooking with Prawns, buy green (raw) Prawns, as cooked Prawns will toughen if reheated.

To Store

Leave Prawns in their shells until just before using and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months below -18ºC. Once thawed, frozen Prawns should not be refrozen.

To Cook

Average yield is 45%. Has a sweet, medium flavour, low to medium oiliness and moist, firm flesh. Flesh is translucent when raw and white to pink with pinkish bands when cooked.

Farmed Prawns are more distinctly marked than wild, and are a brighter red when cooked.

After removing the head from a green Prawn, hold the Prawn straight and gently pull the end of the digestive tract (from the head end), it will usually come out in one go. If it breaks off, use a thin skewer to hook it out from the back.

In cooked Prawns, cut the back open to remove the digestive tract.

Cooking Methods

Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, grill, barbecue. The firm flesh holds together well in soups and curries and threaded on skewers for kebabs. Like all seafood, Prawns require very little cooking. Undercook, rather than overcook, them, as they will continue cooking in the residual heat.

Goes Well With

Butter, chilli, garlic, ginger, herbs, lemon, lime, mayonnaise, olive oil, salad greens, soy sauce, tomato.


Other Prawns, Bugs, Marron, Redclaw, Rock Lobsters, Yabby.


Mainly Black Tiger prawns, cooked and green whole and cooked peeled, are imported from Thailand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, India, Myanmar and Vietnam.


Barbecued Chermoula Prawns with Chickpea Salad
Barbecued Coriander & Pepper Prawns
Easy Prawn Ravioli with Citrus Dressing
Laksa Lemak (Spicy Noodle Soup)
Potted Prawns
Prawn & Avocado Tacos
Prawn Bisque
Prawn Cocktail
Prawn Fried Rice
Prawn Salad with Chilli, Cucumber & Watercress
Prawn San Choy Bow
Prawn Sushi Cake
Prawn Toast
Prawns with Mango & Chilli Dipping Sauce
Prawns with Zucchini, Tomato & Mint Salsa
Satay Udang (Prawn Satay)
Steamed Prawn Dumplings
Steamed Tiger Prawns with Chinese Rice Wine, Ginger & Green Onions
Stir-fried Ginger & Honey Prawns
Stir-fried Prawns & Cucumber in Tamarind Sauce
Stir-Fried Prawns with Red Capsicum & Broccolini
Sugar Cane Prawns
Surf & Turf
Vietnamese Fresh Rice Paper Rolls

Mixed Seafood Dishes
Black Handkerchief Pasta with Seafood & Tomato Sauce
Hot & Sour Seafood Soup (Tom Yum)
Lemony Seafood Crêpes
Linguine ai Frutti di Mare
Mini Seafood Spring Rolls with Plum Sauce
Mixed Tempura
Satay Lilit (Balinese Minced Fish Satay)
Seafood Gumbo
Seafood Hotpot
Seafood Pie with Leek, Garlic & Chives
Seafood Risotto
Spicy Seafood Noodles (Char Kway Teow)
Vietnamese-style Stuffed Squid with Asian Slaw

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