Spot prawns are a delicacy you don’t want to miss. Get ready, the BC Spot Prawn season opens May 5, 2022.

The BC spot prawn season is a much-anticipated event for seafood lovers in Vancouver. From May to June, these delicious prawns are in peak season and can be found in abundance at local seafood markets.

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some, be sure to try them grilled, steamed, or boiled.

Why are spot prawns so special?

Chefs from around the world covet these large west coast shrimp for their firm, tasty, delicate flavour.

These special prawns live in the Pacific coast waters from San Diego up through Alaska. They are also found in the waters off of Japan and Korea.

This species, is the largest of the seven varieties found on the west coast. Look for the noticeable white spots on its tail, their reddish brown colour and distinct markings on the carapace of red and white bars.

This large shrimp turns an orangey-pink colour when cooked.

BC spot prawn season in Vancouver at Fisherman's Wharf in False Creek near Granville Island

Fisherman Stewart McDonald on his Salty Stew’s boat during BC spot prawn season in Vancouver at Fisherman’s Wharf in False Creek near Granville Island.

Freshly cooked BC spot prawns ready to eat. Notice their unique markings

Freshly cooked wild BC spot prawns ready to eat. Notice their unique markings. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

When is BC spot prawn season?

The short BC spot prawn season lasts for about six to eight weeks, from the middle of May to the first weeks of June.

The 2022 season opens May 5. Sales start on May 6 and will last until early June.

2022 Spot Prawn Festival in Vancouver

Vancouver’s popular Spot Prawn Festival is back in all its glory on May 15 to celebrate the season!

The event features spot prawn dishes from some of the city’s best chefs, as well as cooking demonstrations and live music.

It’s the perfect opportunity to sample this delicious seafood. The event itself is free, but the tasting experience requires a ticket.  Find out more about the festival and book tickets here.

This annual fundraiser is put on by the Chefs’ Table Society and the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association.

This year the festival offers two ticketed tasting choices on May 15.

Best place to buy fresh BC spot prawns

Check for the latest updates and save by buying direct from the fisherman. Find out more at BC Live Spot Prawns and Seafood

These delicious, delicately flavoured shrimp are the largest of the seven varieties found on the west coast.

Head down to Vancouver’s Fishermen’s Wharf on False Creek, near Granville Island or out to Steveston Wharf in Richmond to buy directly from the local fishing boats.

Before you go, check these websites to find out what is available and order ahead – Steveston Harbour Fishermen’s Wharf,  Fishermen’s Wharf False Creek, and Salty Stew.

Fishing boats usually arrive between noon and 3 p.m., depending on the weather.

In 2021, we bought our prawns from Salty Stew’s boat at Vancouver’s Fishermen’s Wharf on False Creek.

Here are a few other locations to buy wild pacific spot prawns in other areas of BC.

Craving more fresh BC seafood? Don’t miss finding out about where to buy fresh Saltspring Island Mussels, available all year.

Vancouver Fishermen's Wharf at False Creek Spot Prawn sales and other seafood sales

Vancouver Fishermen’s Wharf at False Creek, spot prawn sales and other seasonal seafood sales. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

How much are spot prawns?

In 2021, BC spot prawns ranged in price from $18-$20 /lb. Many fishing boats only accept cash and some accept credit cards or debt.

Availability and pricing of spot prawns change depending on market fluctuations.

The daily catch sells out quickly. Arrive early, order online for pick up or delivery.

You can also buy fresh frozen spot prawns out of season.

How to cook spot prawns

Spot prawns can be prepared and served in many ways.

Quick and easy spot prawn recipe

This is the best way to cook spot prawns in less than five minutes. Do not overcook them.

This simple method is a quick and easy way to cook spot prawns to retain its delicate flavour and texture.

We allowed one pound of spot prawns per serving.

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. We used 1/4 cup of salt for 5 pounds of prawns.
  • Drop the live, unpeeled spotted prawns into the boiling water.
  • Boil for two minutes.
  • The translucent prawns will turn a darker pinky-orange colour.
  • Remove from water
  • Plunge immediately into a pot of ice cold water
  • Drain
  • Serve with lemon and a large fresh green salad.
  • Spot prawns are very easy to peel.
Best way to cook spot prawns. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Best way to cook spot prawns. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Best wine to serve with spot prawns

Our spot prawn feast paired nicely with a bottle of Riesling from Nk’Mip Cellars.

Nk’Mip is North America’s first Aboriginal owned and operated winery. The winery is located in Osoyoos in the Okanagan.

Best wine to serve with BC spot pawns. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

Best wine to serve with BC spot pawns. Photo: Wendy Nordvik-Carr©

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