Fill up on facts about shrimp, and try a few tasty recipes.

By Sawyer Riley
May 13, 2005
Courtesy Wild American Shrimp, Inc.

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.

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. 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.

Check out these four easy recipes, courtesy of Wild American Shrimp, Inc., the next time you have a hankering for America's favorite seafood.

Florida-style Honey-Grilled Wild American Shrimp
1 pound wild American shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup fresh honey
1 teaspoon white pepper

Thread shrimp evenly on wooden skewers. Combine remaining ingredients, and brush on both sides of shrimp. Grill shrimp over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Baste with honey mixture. Turn shrimp, and grill an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or just until shrimp are opaque. Makes 4 servings.

Carolina Shrimp Salad
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon or Creole mustard
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons vinegar Hot sauce to taste
1 bell pepper, diced
2 green onions, diced
1 pound cooked wild American shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, mustard, ketchup, vinegar, and hot sauce. Add diced pepper and green onions, and stir to combine. Add shrimp; toss well to coat. Cover and chill. Serve on lettuce. Makes 4 entrée or 8 appetizer servings.

Wild Shrimp in Swamp Grass
1 pound wild American shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon capers
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced

Cook shrimp in boiling salted water just until it turns pink. Drain and place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain well. Whisk mustard and vinegar in a large bowl; gradually add oil. Add capers, onion, and cabbage. Toss well to coat. Add shrimp and toss again. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Wild Shrimp with Smoked Sausage and Roasted Peppers
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup diced onion
1/2 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound wild American shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Pinch of dried thyme
Pinch of oregano
Pinch of garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into strips

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until translucent. Add sausage, and cook until it begins to brown. Add shrimp and next 7 ingredients; sauté quickly until shrimp barely turns pink. Add corn and roasted pepper, and stir to mix. Transfer to a heated platter. Add remaining butter to pan and shake to thicken slightly. Pour butter over shrimp, and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Recipes from Wild American Shrimp, Inc.