BC spot prawns are a delicacy coveted by chefs around the world for its firm, tasty, delicate flavour.

Spot 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.

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 2021 spot prawn season opened on May 15 and ends June 21.

Best place to buy 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 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 – 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.

The day we bought our spot prawns at Vancouver’s Fishermen’s Wharf, Salty Stew’s boat arrived at 2:45 p.m.

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

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

How much are spot prawns?

BC spot prawns range 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 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©

Spot Prawn Festival

Watch for the annual BC Spot Prawn Festival usually held annually and put on by Chefs’ Table Society and the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association.

The 2021 event was held virtually on May 29. The 2020 Spot Prawn Festival was completely cancelled due to COVID.

We hope 2022 will see the festival return in all its glory. To find out more about the festival and see recipes from the chefs, learn more here.

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