Depending on the size of the prawns and the cooking method being used, they should cook for between 3 and 10 minutes. Prawns and shrimp are used interchangeably in the culinary world, although the term prawn is more prevalent in most of the English-speaking world outside of the United States.
Prawns can be cooked a number of different ways, including boiling, steaming, grilling, stir-frying and poaching. High-heat methods, such as grilling and stir-frying, cook much faster than slower cooking methods like poaching. Although the head of the prawn is almost always removed for recipes, some recipes call for leaving the shell and tail on. Butterflying prawns is also a good idea because it allows for the removal of the intestinal tract.