Shrimp, a popular type of shellfish or crustacean, is a versatile and delicious ingredient enjoyed across various cuisines worldwide. Belonging to the order Decapoda, these small crustaceans can be found in both fresh and saltwater habitats. Shrimp come in multiple sizes and species, with the most commonly consumed being white, brown, pink, and tiger shrimp.
As a low-fat, high-protein food option, shrimp offers numerous health benefits when consumed in appropriate quantities. They contain various vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D and B12, iron, and selenium. Shrimp add a delightful flavor and texture to a wide range of dishes, from salads and pastas to stir-fries and more elaborate seafood dishes.
When novice cooks begin using shrimp in their kitchen, they often struggle with understanding how to appropriately prep, cook, and enhance their shrimp dishes. A common mistake is overcooking shrimp, which can result in a rubbery texture. To get the most flavor out of shrimp, it's crucial to properly season them and not to wash away the natural flavor. When shell-on shrimp are used, it's important to devein them correctly. A little-known hack to add flavor to your dishes: use the shrimp shells to make a rich stock!
Shrimps are also often used in the raw form in recipes like sushi and ceviche, but it’s necessary to ensure the shrimp are fresh and safe to consume. Generally, it's safer to cook shrimp to avoid any risk of food poisoning. Another tip: Smaller shrimp tend to be more sweet and tender than the larger ones which can be a bit tougher.
How can I tell if my shrimp is cooked properly?
Should I buy fresh or frozen shrimp?
Can I eat the tails of the shrimp?
Should I cook shrimp with shell on or off?
How do I devein shrimp?
Is the 'vein' in a shrimp really a vein?
How long does it take to grill shrimp?
Can I use shrimps in a salad raw?
Is shrimp healthy to eat?
What's the best way to thaw frozen shrimp?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does shrimp expire?
Shrimp, in its raw form, should ideally be consumed within 2 days of being purchased from the grocery store. If left unopened and refrigerated, pre-packaged shrimp can last up to the 'sell by' date printed on the package, usually 3 to 4 days. If you freeze raw shrimp, it can last up to 9 months. Once you’ve cooked your shrimp, it will stay good in the fridge for 3-4 days, and in the freezer for 2-3 months.
How do you tell if shrimp is bad?
Always trust your senses when checking if shrimp has gone bad. If it has a fishy or ammonia-like smell, it's a clear sign that it's no longer fresh- fresh shrimp should smell of saltwater, similar to the sea. Visual cues such as a change in color, particularly a milky or dull grey coloration, or if it feels slimy to touch are other indications that the shrimp has spoiled.
Tips for storing shrimp to extend shelf life
• Always refrigerate shrimp, whether raw or cooked, in airtight containers or sealable bags to prevent bacterial growth.
• Avoid leaving shrimp at room temperature for long periods. If you’re bringing them home from the grocery store, try to make it one of your last stops to minimize the time the shrimp spend outside the fridge.
• If you're planning to freeze your shrimp, it's better to do so in their raw state to maintain their texture and flavor. When it's time to defrost, move them to the fridge to thaw slowly. Never thaw shrimp at room temperature as it can lead to bacterial growth.