The Difference Between Shrimp and Prawns


Prawns are tiny aquatic crustaceans. They typically have ten legs and have an exoskeleton. Some species are eaten. The gills are plate-like and overlap their shells at the abdomen.

Shell segments overlap down their abdomen.

Shrimp are small crustaceans that inhabit the waterways of many tropical and subtropical countries. They can range in size from a few mm to 230 mm. Although shrimp are small compared to other aquatic creatures, they are highly adaptable and suited for various environments. Prawns can be found in brackish and freshwater; some can even change color. Their diets consist of microorganisms, but they are also known to be carnivorous.

One of the essential features of a shrimp is its shell. The shell is made up of three segments. The first segment is the shell itself, while the second and third are the lateral flaps or pleurites. Pleurites are also noteworthy for their ability to flex. Pleurites are best illustrated by the fact that they can form a shallow ventral channel below the abdomen.

Another notable feature of a shrimp is its tail fan. This tail fan is not only impressive, but it is also functional. It can be used to propel the shrimp forward or backward.

Gills are plate-like

Prawns are large shellfish that spend their lives crawling along the floor of fresh or brackish water. They are highly vascular, and their gills are located on the lateral sides of their cephalothorax or thoracic wall. The gills are attached to the thoracic wall with a gill root.

These gills are arranged like pages of a book, with seven gills on the dorsal side and an eighth gill concealed beneath the second gill on the anterior side. The gills are divided into two rows, each row having double rows of rhomboidal leaf-like gill plates.

Aside from gills, prawns have a head and tail. Claws are located on the front and second pairs of legs. Their feet are much giant than the claws of shrimp.

The gills on prawns are highly vascular, with slender marginal channels originating from lateral canals and interconnecting with numerous transverse pipelines. Deoxygenated blood is supplied through these branches, and carbon-dioxide mixed water is expelled out through the ventral portion of the gill chamber.

Taste is similar

When you hear shrimp and prawn, you might wonder if there is a difference. While they are both shellfish, they are not related to each other in any way. They taste similar, but if you compare their size, you’ll see that they are very different animals.

Although prawns and shrimp are nearly indistinguishable, there are a few differences. Prawns have a more robust, sweeter flavor and are slightly larger than shrimp. Their meat is also generally more tender. However, the difference between the two is relatively small.

Aside from size, prawns and shrimp are great additions to your diet. They are both nutritious, and they are both high in protein. Both varieties can be fried or grilled. You can even buy both fresh and frozen. So if you want to make a stir fry, prawns are a great choice.

Both shrimp and prawns can be substituted for one another in various recipes. A recent Cook’s Illustrated test kitchen found that they are both interchangeable.


Whether cooking for one or a large group, you should always know how to prepare prawns. Prawns are delicious and can be used for a variety of dishes. For example, you can use them in a salad, sandwiches, and pickle preparation. They are also a popular addition to buffet tables.

Firstly, you will need to clean the prawns. You can do this using a knife. Just make sure you have a sharp one. Then, rinse them in water. After that, you can wipe them dry with paper towels.

When ready to cook, you will need to heat your pan. This can be done either with an earthenware pot or in a non-stick skillet. Be careful not to overheat your pan. If you overcook the prawns, they may become rubbery and taste bland.

Then, you will need to devein the prawns. Usually, this is done with a sharp knife. However, you can also remove the vein, and the intestinal tract on the back of the prawn.