Eating Prawns

This week has been a pretty hectic week for me. So apologies for the lack of updates.

I had two exams in this week. One was a take-home exam for an English Lit subject and another was an in-class exam for an International Security subject.

Each exam is worth 40%.

But it doesn’t end there. My take home-exam was due on Tuesday and my in-class exam was on Wednesday. So after submitting my take home-exam 10 minutes shy of the deadline, I flashed back home, took out my well-used midnight oil lamp and crammed for the in-class exam.

Stressful week indeed.

But… it hasn’t end yet.

This week is the last week of school and I’m currently on STUVAC, which means study vacation. It’s just a nice way of saying cram week. So during this one week, I’ll have to prepare for another take-home exam and an open book exam. At least I’ve got two exams out of the way already.

Anyway, enough of sidetracking. This post is not about exams or assignments or cramming or burning midnight oil.

This post is about eating prawns. Or more specifically, how I eat prawns.

But first, I would like you to meet Cooked Prawny:

Delicious, no?

Anyway, there’s a short back story to this post. Last night, I was at Star City (an integrated resort in Sydney) with a group of friends. The event was actually a society dinner but only a handful of people turn up, so it became a dinner with friends. Anyway, this restaurant, called Buffet Garden (what else?), was apparently famous for their all-you-can-eat prawns.

Their entire menu is all-you-can-eat by the way. I don’t know why the emphasis was on prawns.

Since I wanted to get my money’s worth, I grabbed some prawns and slices of lemon and settled down for a second round of feasting.

As I was chomping down on my prawns, the Secretary-elect of Unimates was tediously peeling the shells off her prawns. The outgoing President, a Chinese Filipino and a true blue, born-and-bred man of the sea (who happens to be doing his Masters in Information Technology), glanced at her and said, “Do you know the best way for peeling prawns?”

The Secretary-elect and I stared at the IT Man of the Sea. There was a best way to peel prawns?

The best way to peel prawns?

“First, you bite off the head,” the IT Man of the Sea said, “and you suck the head.”

The prawn’s head. Not a blowjob.

The Secretary-elect stared at the IT Man of the Sea and said, “Oh, I don’t really like the head.” Then she went back to peeling the shell of her prawns.

Meanwhile, I popped another prawn into my mouth, shell and all.

Yep, that’s how I eat prawns.

On the other hand, everyone at my table was peeling the shells of their prawns. I guess the majority of people eat prawns this way too:

Say hello to naked prawn.

Looks disgusting, right? When I was young, I always thought de-shelled prawns looked like orange-coloured, crescent-shaped testicles. Moving on.

So yes, I eat prawns in its entirety. I believe this is the second best way to eat prawns.

Why second best? 

Well, one of my cousin has the talent of eating a prawn with its shell and after a few quick seconds, he’ll spit out the shell.

I tried doing that but I always get jaw and tongue cramps after a while. So I reverted back to my method.

So why do I eat the entire prawn with the shell?

Well, basically, I’m a lazy person. When I was a young kiddydums, I was taught to remove both head and tail, peel the prawn and then devour it. But after a few frustrated attempts with prawn juice splattering on me, I gave up and popped a prawn into my mouth.

It was… not that bad. Definitely crunchy.

Since then, I have been eating prawns this way.

Some people balked when they see me eating prawns this way. Questions range from: “Don’t you get pricked in the mouth?” to “Is it disgusting?” and to “Do you get hepatitis and food poisoning?”

Do I get pricked in the mouth? Yes, in the beginning. But now I’m pretty skilled enough to not get pricked in the mouth.

Is it disgusting? Not really, and the shell doesn’t dull the taste of the prawns (for me, apparently).

Do I get hepatitis and food poisoning? So far I have been given a clean bill of health. I know correlation does not imply causation, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that eat prawns this way. As long as the prawns are cooked properly, I’m fine, you’re fine, everybody’s fine. This also applies to cooked food in general.

However, eating prawns with shell does have one drawback, especially when I was a kid.

You see, when I first started eating prawns that way, my family and relatives had no idea about my new prawn-eating method. Being a Singaporean Chinese, we would get prawns one way or the other when we had a large family gatherings. At that stage in my life, I was a skinny, little runt, so my parents and relatives like to force-feed me. Every time they see my empty plate, they’ll pile food on it. Prawns included.

During the first round, I’ll polish off every single prawn. Of course, I ate the shells too:


Unfortunately, since my plate was devoid of prawn shells, one of my parent or relative would take pity on me, thinking I didn’t have any prawn, so they pile a second helping on my plate:

I would finish off the prawns, albeit at a much slower pace.

Once again, my parents or relative would see my plate empty of prawn shells, so they’ll pile a third heap onto my plate. By now, I’m protesting that I’m too full. But no one actually listens to a small kid’s protestations, do they?

So I have to eat the third heap of prawns:

After what seemed like an eternity, I managed to fill my little stomach with more prawns. But… another relative walks by, glances at my plate and goes, “Oh, you haven’t had prawns yet.”

Another fourth helping. Motherfuc…..

This time, I wised up. I leave the prawns’ heads behind as an incriminating evidence:

Since then, I’ve been eating prawns this way. I’ll make sure to leave some heads rolling so that people know I’ve eaten prawns.

So how do you eat prawns?

P.S. I googled “prawns in Australia” and got this. It’s the top result.


I found this hilarious music video by nigahiga about two days ago. Make sure you watch the entire thing:

This is KevJumba’s version:

And the acoustic version by Chester See:

But I like this song best: