“ Brand: Sainsburys / Type: Fish „
My husband is quite the connoisseur of fish and I have noticed it getting very expensive these days. Recently, we cooked a meal for his parents and sister (including ourselves) and it totalled £22, for one meal! We bought five unskinned salmon fillets from the fish counter which contributed to 3/4 of the cost of the meal.
The same is true for prawns. I remember sitting on my parents' bed as a child watching TV and eating half a pack of the smallest shelled prawns right out of the packaging. I love them. I cannot seem to get hold of small shelled prawns (the larger ones crunch and that freaks me out) for less than £2. These come very close at 300g for £2.39.
They come in a generic plastic bag with the white and orange Sainsbury's Basics logo on the front. The bag is very robust and needs to be opened with scissors. They have made great use of the packaging because the prawns almost fill the bag, but not so much that they pop out when you cut the bag open.
You have to thaw and drain the prawns before serving. They can be defrosted at room temperature for 2-3 hours or placed in a bowl of cold water and defrosted in 40 minutes.
I put the bag in the fridge the night before I want to eat them. Defrosted this way, they come out tasting and feeling (in the mouth) like fresh prawns and are perfect hydrated. They have the mild fishy taste and the 'crumble' fish has when bitten into.
The taste is fantastic. I do not think I am like most people who notice a huge taste difference between cheaper brands and more expensive brands. The taste has to be abysmal for me to notice. I love healthy, cheap food that keeps. It is a bit much of an expectation, but this product fits the bill.
The prawns on the inside of the bag vary in size: some are very plump and some are just little pieces of prawn. Mostly, the bag includes full-sized small prawns very well shelled. I do tend to get three or four prawns that have a bit of shell remaining on them. It can be quite irritating when you're digging in, but it isn't much to complain about for the price. Compare this 300g bag at £2.39 to the fresh pack of 100g offered by Sainsbury's at £2.99.
I'm a big fan of seafood, and have a particular weakness for prawns. Ideally, the big, juicy, king ones that you can get chilled from the supermarket. But, as these can often set you back a good few quid, I tend to keep a bag of frozen prawns in the freezer (obviously!) for everyday use.
In the past I've stuck to the branded names that I know and trust, but seeing this 300g bag for just £1.76, I had to try them. Working out at £5.87 per kg, compared to the ordinary Sainsburys brand at £8.54 per kg, it's quite a difference. I figured a prawn is a prawn, regardless of the brand, and the packaging promised that the only difference with these prawns is that they are 'a little smaller'.
The packaging is the usual, no frills style that you get with the Basics range. I was a little concerned to read on the bag that the prawns were covered in a 'protective ice glaze'- it sounded ominously chemically, and I was worried it might affect the flavour. But looking at the back, the only ingredients are prawns, water and salt. Yes, the 'protective ice glaze' is merely frozen water! Not rocket science, given the name 'ice', but hey, chemistry was never my strong point.
The info on storage is pretty standard for a frozen product- 24 hours in the fridge, or 1 month in the freezer. To be honest, I've sometimes kept them for a bit longer in the freezer, without suffering any ill effects, so I guess Sainsburys are just being cautious. Defrosting is simple- place the prawns on a plate, and leave at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Alternatively, you can cover them with cold water and leave them for 20 minutes.
Once defrosted, these prawns are very much the same as the other frozen prawns I've tried. They're certainly not as tasty as chilled prawns, because they lack that plump juiciness that I love. But flavour wise, the lovely prawny flavour is there. They are a bit chewy, but that's normal for frozen prawns. The only difference, as the bag says, is the size- each prawn is slightly smaller than average. But this really isn't a problem, as taste and texture are not compromised.
So, the verdict? A decent, good value product from the Basics range. They're never going to live up to fresh prawns, but they're a useful, cheap alternative to keep in stock and whip out whenever you need a seafood fix.
I love prawns and they're my favourite fishy offering at the moment. I'm watching my weight and I'm working out hard at the gym and so am permanently hungry but looking for low fat foods. Of course with lifting alot of weights I'm looking for high protein foods but not only that prawns contain alot of Omega-3 fatty acids which can help prevent against heart disease and they contain high levels of Vitamin B12, Zinc, Iodine, phosphorous, potassium, selenium and iron and have smaller quantities of calcium, magnesium and sodium which are most essential for healthy skin, bones and teeth. Low in saturated fat these are just really good for you and as my gym instructor said as I'm low in Vitamin B and Potassium they can only help me! So I treated myself to a pack of these that i found for £1.84 in the fridge area of the store.
Clear plastic oblong quite flat container with a peel back plastic lid and on that there is a white label with orange and black writing on it and on that I'm told they are Sainsbury's 'Basics' Cooked & Peeled Prawns 'Simple prawns, why shell out for more'. I'm told they are ready to eat cold and are freezable, there is an at a glance nutritional chart displayed on there, the best before date is clearly stamped on as is the weight and the pack price. On the inside of that label when you peel the main lid open I'm given storage instructions and a full nutritional rundown and on the back of the pack ingredients are listed (Prawns, salt), safety advice is given as well as allergy advice and contact details for Sainsbury's are given and there is a bar-code on there. Cheap looking packaging this is for sure but it's functional enough and I like being able to see lots of pink prawns through the carton.
The only ingredients in these are prawns and salt and that says it all really. These are very small prawns indeed though to be fair not broken pieces or anything like that. They are well cooked however pretty tasteless apart from the taste of salt! Far too salty I think and they don't have any other sort of natural flavour to them at all and can only really be described as bland. They looked ok but really were just cheap prawns and even when I slung a few in some thousand island sauce and added some pepper to them, still I couldn't get any flavour from them. All I can say that by eating a pack of them they filled a gap in my tummy but pleasurable to eat...not really it was a bit like eating moist air lol.
Nutritional Information per 100g....
Energy: 65 Kcal
of which is sugars: 0,1g
Of which is starch 0g
of which is saturates: 0.6g
of which is sodium: 0.7g
Only available in Sainsburys.