Can You Microwave Prawns?

Prawns on table

With a unique combination of semi-sweet and salty flavours, prawns are a popular protein that are used in many cuisines around the world.

Prawns are naturally low in fat and can be eaten plain or combined with sauces, such as in a curry. They are very simple to cook but they can also be easily overcooked, transforming their soft delicate flesh to a rubbery, inedible mess.

Undercooked or raw prawns can be dangerous to eat, so it’s important to get them just right. Avoiding cooking methods which take too long is one way to prevent your prawns from drying out.

The microwave offers a way of cooking food quickly, but is this safe for prawns? Here’s what you should know.


Can You Cook Prawns in the Microwave?

The microwave might not be a traditional cooking method for prawns, but it’s one of the best.

Using a microwave to cook seafood is an excellent option as it helps to retain the natural flavour, and keeps the moisture in. The result is juicy, tasty prawns in just a few minutes.

Before microwaving the prawns, you should season them with salt, pepper and some olive oil to taste. The prawns should be placed in a single layer and not overcrowded.

Microwave them for the recommended time; they should be opaque white all over with patches of pink and red. Flip them halfway through cooking to get the most even results.


How Long Should You Microwave Prawns For?

The amount of time prawns take to microwave depends on the power of your microwave, how many prawns you are cooking and the size of each individual prawn. Larger quantities will take longer to microwave. Larger prawns will also take longer to cook through thoroughly than lots of smaller prawns.

The table below provides an approximate guide to how long prawns take to cook in the microwave:

Microwave type 225 g prawns 450 g prawns 680 g prawns
700 W microwave 4-5 mins 6-7 mins 8-9 mins
800 W microwave 4-5 mins 6-7 mins 8-9 mins
900 W microwave 3-4 mins 5-6 mins 7-8 mins
1000 W microwave 3-4 mins 5-6 mins 7-8 mins
1100 W microwave 2-3 mins 3-4 mins 6-7 mins
1200 W microwave 2-3 mins 3-4 mins 6-7 mins


Can You Reheat Cooked Prawns in the Microwave?

Is it safe to reheat prawns, or dishes which contain prawns, in the microwave providing they have been stored in the recommended way?

If all guidelines regarding refrigeration have been strictly followed, there is no risk to reheat prawns in the microwave.

You should always make sure the food is piping hot before it’s served, and you shouldn’t reheat prawns more than once.

The prawns should be thoroughly cooked through the first time before they are reheated. This ensures that any bacteria was killed off and hasn’t been allowed to grow.

Prawns on plate

Can You Microwave Frozen Prawns?

You should always defrost frozen prawns before you cook them in the microwave. This is because the inside of the prawn will cook quicker than the outside, leading to them becoming rubbery and overcooked.

You shouldn’t defrost raw prawns in the microwave to speed up the process because this will start to cook the insides of the prawns and once again lead to overcooking.

Prawns are extremely delicate and can start to cook very easily. It is therefore essential to handle them very carefully while thawing and cooking to prevent ruining their texture and flavour.

To illustrate this point, even defrosting prawns with warm water rather than cold water can start the cooking process.

It is vital to take every precaution to avoid exposing your prawns to any heat until you’re ready to start cooking them.