However, the species’ diet and habitat have a much greater influence on taste and texture. Some folks think that shrimps are just, well, shrimpier prawns, but that’s not the case. You can throw shrimp on the grill and top them with lemon butter. However, each actually provides a very desirable fat profile, including a good amount of healthy omega-3 fatty acids (3). Although some aspects may not be as prominent as others, there are several parts of these crustaceans that help differentiate the two. Similarly, U.S. seafood farms follow better practices than many others. There are many ways to cook and serve shrimp and prawns. Since shrimp are smaller in size, they get cooked slightly quicker than prawns. Some "prawns"—such as spot prawns—are biological shrimp, and some "shrimp"—notably ridgeback shrimp—are technically prawns. In addition to providing lean protein and healthy fats, these crustaceans are very good sources of selenium, an important antioxidant. Shrimp are part of the sub-order Pleocyemata, while prawns belong to the sub-order Dendrobranchiata. U.S. wild-caught shrimp/prawns is a well-managed fishery, for example. Prawns and shrimp are sometimes criticized for their high cholesterol content. However, “shrimp” and “prawn” are not used in the same context consistently, making it difficult to know which crustacean you are truly purchasing. The outer skeleton of the prawn doesn't allow it to bend at all and thus a prawn is somewhat straight. They all look alike, so they use those names interchangeably. They’re very similar in taste and texture. However, various species can also be found in colder waters in the Northern Hemisphere. The 10 foods on this list are extremely high in this nutrient, comprising almost nothing but protein and…. While different varieties of shrimp and prawns vary in taste and texture, those differences do not divide along "shrimp" and "prawn" lines. However, it may surprise you to learn that shrimp and prawns are not even the same animals. Their legs are also slightly different. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI, 8 Health Foods That Are Harmful If You Eat Too Much, Warning About New Parasite in Raw Seafood. While different varieties of shrimp and prawns vary in taste and texture, those differences do not divide along "shrimp" and "prawn" lines. Shrimp, as we know, have a tight curl to them. In short, while shrimp and prawns are not the same, their flavors are, and therefore make them interchangeable in recipes. Sweet Potatoes and Yams: What's the Difference? Each is a good source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Shrimp's front pincers are the largest and they have claws on two pairs of the legs. The main anatomical difference between prawns and shrimp is their body form. In short, while shrimp and prawns are not the same, their flavors are, and therefore make them interchangeable in recipes. Choose Prawn vs. Shrimp based on size what a recipe calls for and whether they’ve been caught or raised in an environmentally responsible way. That is, the head overlaps the thorax and the thorax overlaps the abdomen. So while they may be slightly different, both are nutritious additions to your diet and you’ll likely have no problem substituting one for the other in most recipes. There are various ways to prepare these shellfish. However, the two types of crustaceans come from different suborders of decapods. Although it is clear these two crustaceans are very different from each other, the terms "shrimp" and "prawn" seem to be used interchangeably. Shrimp and prawn's mild and sweet flavor make them extremely versatile and great to pair with a variety of ingredients, from simple to complex. Both prawns and shrimp are known for their ability to cook fast, which makes them a perfect ingredient in a quick and easy meal. Each of these types of shellfish has different types of gills; shrimp have lamellar (plate-like) gills, while prawns' gills are branching.