Shrimp are pink, sweet and delicate crustaceans. Simply, they are delicious and very easy to cook. They can be found abundantly in America, off the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards in inshore waters, wherever the bottom is sandy. Shrimp are wild-caught or farm-raised.
Eating lots of shrimp can improve your cholesterol ratio, by increasing the ratio of good cholesterol (HDL) to bad cholesterol (LDL). A diet high in shrimp may also significantly lower triglyceride levels. Shrimp are also an excellent source of selenium, which may provide protection against three types of cancer. (source: Canadian study, April 2004, Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers) Shrimp also are a good source of vitamin D and vitamin B12.
To make sure shrimp is fresh, smell it. It should have a light, saltwater smell and firm meat. Inspect the shells to make sure there are no black spots and that they’re not yellow and gritty, which may mean they’ve been bleached. Frozen shrimp can be kept for several weeks, but fresh shrimp should be cooked within a day or two. Make sure to get your shrimp home and into the fridge as quick as possible, because it spoils easily. If you have errands to do, keep a small cooler in your car.
Shrimp’s cousins are lobster, crabs and crayfish. Larger shrimp are known as prawns. Within North America, there are three basic groups of shrimp: warmwater shrimp, freshwater shrimp and coldwater shrimp.
Warmwater shrimp are the most popular and plentiful shrimp in North America. They are categorized by the color of their shell when raw: white, pink, brown, black tiger and rock shrimp. White and black tiger shrimp can be wild-caught or farm-raised. White shrimp are the most abundant.
Freshwater shrimp are both wild-caught and farm-raised and have either blue or yellow with brown striped shells. One of the largest shrimp that can grow to over a pound, it’s clear why they are seen as a delicacy in restaurants and displayed prominently in fresh water tanks.
Coldwater shrimp have many names: Salad shrimp, wee shrimp, bay shrimp, tiny shrimp, baby shrimp, pink shrimp. Coldwater shrimp are wild-harvested from the waters of Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and the U.S. coasts of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Maine. They have reddish-pink shells, both raw and cooked.
•1 pound of raw shrimp in their shells equals about 1/2 pound peeled and cooked shrimp.
• Succulent Shrimp – to make shrimp tender, you cook them quickly. Most shrimp cook in as little as 3 minutes - when they're pink, they are done. Jumbo shrimp take a littler longer 7-8 minutes, and large shrimp 5- 7 minutes. Once shrimp are cooked, they should be plunged into cold water to stop the cooking process.
• Shrimp cook well in or out of their shells. Make sure you ask your fish monger to devein your shrimp. To do it yourself, using a small knife, run it down the back of the shrimp and remove the vein.