Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Are prawns and shrimps the same thing or are they different? Basically, I think they're the same but one of my friends was arguing that they're similar but definitely not the same thing and they differ in size.

share|improve this question
There's some information on Wikipedia, though most of it's covered in the answers. – David Richerby Jul 1 '14 at 18:25
up vote 41 down vote accepted

Biologically speaking, they are actually different species, but the names are so commonly used interchangeably as to completely muddle the distinctions. For example, spot prawns are actually shrimp while ridgeback shrimp are actually prawns.

Prawns have claws on three of their five pairs of legs, shrimp have claws on two of their five pairs of legs. Their gills and body shape are different too.

As far as cooking them goes, they are virtually identical and interchangeable.

enter image description here


enter image description here

Source: Rahul Chaitanya’s Weblog

share|improve this answer
Great answer, being Australian I thought it was mainly a terminology difference but I can see now looking at the diagrams I've never actually bought any shrimp at least not fresh. – PeterJ Jul 1 '14 at 9:20
Is there any difference in taste? – Divi Jul 1 '14 at 10:05
@Divi Nope, none that I can sense anyway. To me the thing that influences flavor the most is whether they are wild or farmed. I find the wild to be far superior. – Jolenealaska Jul 1 '14 at 10:06
You have conflicting statements in your answer. The text says "Prawns have claws on two of their five pairs of legs, shrimp have claws on three of their five pairs of legs." The blue picture says the opposite. My research indicates the picture is more correct. – user37580 Aug 15 '15 at 1:57
@JAICHANDJOHNSON You're absolutely right. Thank you, edited accordingly. – Jolenealaska Sep 11 '15 at 18:09

protected by Community Aug 15 '15 at 3:07

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.