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Prawn vs. Scampi: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 11, 2023
Prawn is a crustacean resembling a large shrimp, while Scampi refers to a type of lobster, and its dish often involves butter and garlic.

Key Differences

Prawn is a general term for large shrimp-like crustaceans found in fresh and saltwater. Scampi, on the other hand, is originally a term used to describe a specific kind of lobster found mainly in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean.
Prawn is popular in various cuisines and is celebrated for its delicate flavor and versatile use. Scampi has made its mark primarily in Italian and British cuisines, with the dish commonly referring to the lobster tail cooked with butter and garlic.
In many parts of the world, when you hear Prawn, it refers to a larger variant of shrimp, often used in dishes like prawn cocktail or prawn curry. In contrast, Scampi might make people think of the Italian dish "Linguine al Scampi," where the lobster is the star ingredient.
In the culinary world, Prawn dishes are often about showcasing the freshness and quality of the crustacean. With Scampi, while the seafood is essential, it's the preparation and the rich, buttery sauce that plays an equally significant role.
Many seafood lovers enjoy the succulent texture of Prawn. In comparison, the Scampi dishes are appreciated for their combination of the lobster's unique flavor with aromatic garlic and butter.

Comparison Chart



Origin of Name

General term for large shrimp-like crustaceans
Northeastern Atlantic lobster

Popular Dishes

Prawn cocktail, prawn curry
Linguine al Scampi

Flavor Profile

Delicate, often showcasing freshness
Rich, often paired with butter and garlic


Generally larger than regular shrimps
Varies, but can be larger than prawns

Prawn and Scampi Definitions


A crustacean resembling a large shrimp.
She added fresh prawns to her salad.


A popular dish involving lobster tails cooked with butter and garlic.
He ordered the linguine al scampi for dinner.


Valued for its tender and juicy flesh.
The grilled prawns were the highlight of the meal.


Celebrated in Italian and British cuisines.
Scampi and chips is a popular British dish.


Often used interchangeably with shrimp in certain areas.
The prawn cocktail is a classic appetizer.


Refers to a type of lobster found mainly in the northeastern Atlantic.
True scampi are a delicacy in many European countries.


A popular seafood in various global cuisines.
Prawn curry is a staple in coastal regions.


Has a unique and distinct flavor, often highlighted in its dishes.
The scampi's buttery taste complemented the wine perfectly.


Harvested from both fresh and salt waters.
Freshwater prawns have a distinct taste compared to their marine counterparts.


Often mistakenly used to describe large prawns in some regions.
In some places, butterflied prawns are called scampi.


Any of various shrimps, especially one that is large or inhabits fresh water.


Large shrimp broiled or sautéed and served in a garlic and butter sauce.


The flesh of a prawn, used as food.


See langoustine.


To fish for prawns.


Served in a garlic and butter sauce
Lobster scampi.


A crustacean of the suborder Dendrobranchiata.


A Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus).


(Commonwealth) A crustacean, sometimes confused with shrimp.


Any member of a similar species of genus Nephrops or similar prawns.


Synonym of butterface: A woman with an attractive body but an unattractive face.
She's a prawn!


Plural of scampo


A fool, an idiot.


Large shrimp sauteed in oil or butter and garlic


Alternative form of porn.


(intransitive) To fish for prawns.


Any one of numerous species of large shrimplike Crustacea having slender legs and long antennæ. They mostly belong to the genera Pandalus, Palæmon, Palæmonetes, and Peneus, and are much used as food. The common English prawn is Palæmon serratus.


Any of various edible decapod crustaceans


Shrimp-like decapod crustacean having two pairs of pincers; most are edible


Fish for prawns


Are prawns and shrimps the same?

Though similar and often used interchangeably in some regions, prawns and shrimps are biologically distinct.

How is Scampi different from Prawn?

Scampi refers to a type of lobster, while prawn is a large shrimp-like crustacean.

What is the primary dish associated with Scampi?

Scampi is often prepared as "Linguine al Scampi," a dish with lobster tails cooked in butter and garlic.

Which is bigger, prawn or shrimp?

Prawns are generally larger than shrimps.

What kind of water are prawns found in?

Prawns can be found in both fresh and salt waters.

Are Scampi and Prawn dishes expensive?

Both can be premium seafood options, depending on the variety and preparation.

Is Scampi an Italian dish?

Yes, Scampi has roots in Italian cuisine, though it's popular in various regions.

How are prawns typically cooked?

Prawns can be boiled, grilled, fried, or used in curries.

What is a Prawn?

A prawn is a crustacean resembling a large shrimp.

Do prawns have a stronger flavor than shrimps?

Prawns often have a richer and more pronounced flavor compared to shrimps.

Can I use prawns as a substitute for Scampi in a recipe?

Yes, but it may alter the flavor and texture of the dish.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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