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Friday, May 8, 2009


Ingredients > Shrimp
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what is it?

Sweet, succulent, and slightly briny, shrimp or prawn is America's favorite seafood. Delicious cooked all kinds of ways;poached in shrimp cocktail, battered and deep fried, sautéed, broiled, and grilled. This crustacean is quick-cooking and incredibly versatile.

White shrimp and tiger shrimp are two widely available varieties. Size ranges from smaller than a pinky to colossal, which can be as big as a hand. Because adjectives that describe the size, like "jumbo" or "large," aren't used consistently, a better way to buy shrimp is by the "count," a pair of numbers divided by a slash, which refers to the number of shrimp in a pound. For instance, shrimp labeled "21/25" means 21 to 25 shrimp in one pound.

kitchen math:

1 pound of raw shrimp = ½ to ¾ pound cooked meat

how to choose:

The best shrimp are flash frozen in blocks of water like giant ice cubes within hours of pulling in the net. It's sold in 4- to 5-lb. blocks. Your next best bet is buying frozen unpeeled shrimp in a bag and thawing it yourself. Most likely, this shrimp has been individually quick frozen (IQF) and is just as fresh as the ice-block shrimp, just not as protected from freezer burn. So check for excessive ice crystals. If buying "fresh" shrimp (in almost all cases, the shrimp was previously frozen), look for firm meat and a pleasant odor.

how to prep:

Let frozen shrimp thaw overnight in the fridge, or for faster thawing, take the shrimp out of its package, put it in a bowl of cold water, and let a trickle of cold water run into the bowl while excess water goes down the drain. The shrimp should be ready to cook in about 15 minutes. The vein in shrimp won't hurt you, but it's sometimes unsightly and a bit gritty. To devein shrimp, split the shell down the spine and remove the dark vein with the tip of a paring knife.

how to store:

Don't freeze shrimp that you buy fresh at the grocery store; it's likely already been frozen and thawed once, and refreezing will hurt quality. Use fresh shrimp within a day or two of buying. For longer-term storage, buy frozen shrimp and defrost it as needed.

Ingredients > Shrimp
36 of 39 <prev next>


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