shrimp


This delicious crustacean is America's favorite shellfish. Most of the shrimp in the United States comes from bordering waters, notably the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Gulf Coast. There are hundreds of shrimp species, most of which can be divided into two broad classifications—warm-water shrimp and cold-water shrimp. As a broad and general rule, the colder the water, the smaller and more succulent the shrimp. Shrimp come in all manner of colors including reddish- to light brown, pink, deep red, grayish-white, yellow, gray-green and dark green. Some have color striations or mottling on their shells. Because of a heat-caused chemical change, most shrimp shells change color (such as from pale pink to bright red or from red to black) when cooked. Shrimp are marketed according to size (number per pound), but market terms vary greatly from region to region and from fish market to fish market. Keeping that variance in mind, the general size categories into which shrimp fall are: colossal (10 or less per pound), jumbo (11–15), extra-large (16–20), large (21–30), medium (31–35), small (36–45) and miniature (about 100). In the United States, jumbo and colossal shrimp are commonly called prawns, though the prawn is, in fact, a different species. Though there are slight differences in texture and flavor, the different sizes (except the miniatures) can usually be substituted for each other. As a rule, the larger the shrimp, the larger the price. In general, 1 pound of whole, raw shrimp yields ½ to ¾ pound of cooked meat. Shrimp are available year-round and are usually sold sans head and sometimes legs. When raw and unshelled, they're referred to as "green shrimp." Many forms of shrimp are found in the marketplace—shelled or unshelled, raw or cooked and fresh or frozen. There are also processed shrimp products such as breaded or stuffed, frozen shrimp, shrimp spread, dried shrimp, shrimp paste and shrimp sauce (the last two found in Asian markets). Raw shrimp should smell of the sea with no hint of ammonia. Cooked, shelled shrimp should look plump and succulent. Before storing fresh uncooked shrimp, rinse them under cold running water and drain thoroughly. Tightly cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Cooked shrimp can be refrigerated for up to three days. Freeze shrimp for up to three months. Thaw in its freezer wrapping overnight in the refrigerator, or place package in cold water until defrosted. Whether or not to devein shrimp is a matter of personal preference. In general, small and medium shrimp do not need deveining except for cosmetic purposes. However, because the intestinal vein of larger shrimp contains grit, it should be removed. Shrimp can be prepared in a variety of ways including boiling, frying and grilling.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Popular Recipes with Shrimp

Get More Shrimp Recipes & Ideas

Lemony Shrimp Scampi with Orzo and Arugula

Shrimp Scampi

Creamy, Garlicky Shrimp Skillet

Shrimp and Kale Pitas

Shrimp Bruschetta with Cucumber-Chile Mignonette

Linguine with Shrimp and Tomatoes

Whole30 Shrimp and Cauliflower Grits

Penne with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp, Watercress and Farro Salad

Shrimp Scampi Zoodles

Tuscan Shrimp with White Beans

Grilled Shrimp and Noodle Salad

Linguine with Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Fried Rice

Greek Shrimp and Couscous

Steakhouse Sheet Pan Dinner for Two

Shrimp Burgers with Old Bay Mayo

Coconut Curry Shrimp

Healthy Chipotle Beer-and-Butter Shrimp Foil Pack

Blue Moonandreg; Shrimp and Cornbread

Chipotle Tortilla Chip-Crusted Shrimp

Pasta Salad with Poached Shrimp and Lemon-Dill Dressing

Shrimp-Corn Ceviche

Grilled Shrimp with Walnut Pesto

Shrimp and Spring Vegetable Risotto

Scallop and Shrimp Cocktail

Keep Reading

Next Up

Shrimp Risotto

This shrimp risotto is light on calories but full of flavor. Beef broth, garlic, shallots, Parmesan and shrimp add depth to this creamy dish.

Shrimp 5 Ways

Enjoy this low calorie shellfish packed with selenium and energy-boosting B-vitamins any day of the week. Three-ounces cooked contain 84 calories and 1 gram of fat. As long as you keep portions under control (and forgo the frying), there’s no need to stress about the cholesterol. Shrimp lovers—enjoy these 5 recipes.

Why We Love Shrimp

Shrimp are not only delicious, but good for you too! Here’s how you can make shrimp part of your healthy eating plan.

Shrimp: Myths vs. Facts

Are you shrimp lover but not sure if the shellfish is the smartest seafood choice? It's time to dispel the biggest myths about these tiny (and tasty) crustaceans.

Robin's Healthy Take: Coconut Shrimp

Robin puts a healthy spin on coconut shrimp for less than 200 calories per serving.

Shrimp Po' Bubba's — Recipe of the Day

Paula's Uncle Bubba serves his classic deep-fried shrimp po' boy, a traditional submarine sandwich from Louisiana, on a toasted hoagie roll with tartar sauce.

Shrimp and Grits — Down-Home Comfort

Down-home comfort has caught fire in the last 10 years or so with the classic low-country dish Shrimp and Grits. It’s being served in white tablecloth restaurants from Savannah to Seattle.

Best 5 Shrimp Scampi Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five shrimp scampi recipes below to find classic and creative takes on this quick-fix dish from Giada, Bobby, Ina and more chefs.