27 Favorite Shrimp Recipes
Enjoy our favorite shrimp recipes, plus cooking tips, fun facts, and everything you never knew about shrimp.
Ninety percent of shrimp eaten in the U.S. are imported (7% from Gulf and 3% from Atlantic and Pacific oceans).Thailand is the U.S.’s largest importer of shrimp and other major players include Indonesia, Ecuador, China, and Vietnam.
Recipe: Hot-and-Sour Soup
Did you know that Gulf shrimp accounts for most of the wild shrimp eaten in the U.S.? The recent oil spill in the Gulf has renewed a lot of questions about safety and right now Gulf seafood is the most watched and regulated in the world.
Recipe: Honey Shrimp Skewers
Look for I.Q.F. on the label for the freshest shrimp on the market. It means “individually quick frozen,” and tit's easier to manage than 5-pound frozen bulk blocks. Once thawed, frozen shrimp is just as perishable as fresh so make sure you are buying recently thawed seafood. Or, buy them I.Q.F. frozen.
Recipe: Grilled Shrimp Panzanella Salad
Fact: More than 80 percent of the shrimp sold in America is imported. Most of the local-versus-imported debate focuses on environmental and health concerns. Many countries allow coastal deforestation and United States-banned antibiotics. To ensure you buy chemical-free shrimp, ask your fishmonger for wild American shrimp.
Fact: Shrimp not only tastes great, but it’s also waistline friendly―a 6-ounce portion has only 180 calories and 3 grams of fat. Plus, it’s versatile and easy to prepare. You don’t have to be a trained chef to get a wonderful shrimp dinner on the table in 10 minutes.
Fact: Almost all shrimp you buy is frozen at sea or shortly thereafter. More than likely, “fresh” shrimp is actually thawed. Truly fresh shrimp appears more translucent than thawed shrimp, and its highly perishable nature makes it rarely available. The United States imports 80 to 90 percent of the shrimp its residents consume, so it stands to reason that the product is shipped frozen.
Fact: Hundreds of shrimp species swim in the seas, and some have minute differences we would never notice on our plates. Warm-water shrimp grow larger, but tend to taste less sweet than their cold-water cousins. Freshwater shrimp are usually farm-raised and prized for their size. Regardless of raw shrimp's color, which can range from white to yellow to brown to striped, all shrimp turn pink when cooked.
Fact: The terms used to describe shrimp size―small, medium, large, jumbo, colossal―mean different things in different locations, and the jargon has no industry regulations. The more universal technique measures shrimp by the count, or number. If the shrimp are “16-20s,” that means there are 16 to 20 shrimp per pound, regardless of the label’s large, extra-large, or jumbo designation.
Tip: Large shrimp are fairly easy to devein. Simply slit the back with a paring knife and lift the vein out with the knife point. But don't feel you have to devein. If you can't see the vein when the shrimp is raw, chances are you won't when it's cooked. Similarly, smaller shrimp have smaller veins, often not visible. Deveining comes down to aesthetics, not hygiene. If the veins don't show, don't bother.
Cooking Tip: Shrimp cook quickly, which makes them easy to overcook. Prepare them just until they no longer look translucent and they will taste crisp and tender and moist. Keep an eye on them; most shrimp cook fully in less than five minutes.
Cooking Tip: Experiment with shrimp steamed, boiled, sautéed, or fried. You can serve it shell and tail on, shell off and tail on, or shell and tail removed. When paired with a sauce, serve shrimp peeled and remove the tail. For finger food, leave the tail intact, as it makes a convenient "handle."
Fact: Unlike most other foods, shrimp are identified by size. Because the meaning of the term “large” varies, you’ll often find shrimp labeled by number per pound. For example, “26–30” means there are 26 to 30 shrimp, totaling one pound of seafood.
Fact: Peeling and deveining shrimp (often called P&D) removed about half the weight, so a 26–30 P&D shrimp is larger than a 26–30 unpeeled. As a general rule, use small or medium shrimp in salads, fillings, and stir-fries, and large ones for kebabs and peel-and-eat meals.
Cooking Tip: Here is a good estimate on buying shrimp for 6 people (about 2 pounds): 24 jumbo fresh shrimp (or) 30 large fresh shrimp. If buying for 4, about 1-1/2 pounds.
Fact: Whether boiled, fried, sautéed, or grilled, America’s favorite crustacean, shrimp, makes the mouth water and the mind wander to a coastal locale. Discovered accidentally in a fishing net, this finger-length crustacean was dubbed schrimpe, the Middle English word for “small, puny person.” Shrimp have long since become a staple in the culinary world, with versatile recipes for almost every palate.
Cooking Tip: When buying shrimp, you should consider several factors. Fresh versus frozen is perhaps the most obvious. Keep in mind that shrimp spoils quickly, and freezing helps maintain quality. Another consideration is where the shrimp come from. Recently enacted country of origin labeling stipulates that seafood must be clearly marked with location of harvest.