Shrimp has always been a luxurious, special treat for me. I love its sweet flavor, tender and bouncy texture, and the beautiful pink and salmon color. These recipes start with shrimp, add a few ingredients, and finish as delicious recipes perfect for family or company.
Most of the shrimp available in stores in my area (the landlocked Midwest) is frozen. Even shrimp sold as 'fresh' is frozen during shipping; since the shellfish is extremely perishable, it must be packed in ice while being transported. Fresh shrimp should smell fresh and sweet and not at all fishy. Shrimp is also sold canned; I use canned shrimp only in recipes like an appetizer dip.
Enjoy these recipes using shrimp and don't save them just for company or special occasions. Everyone who loves shrimp deserves to eat it often!
Start with Shrimp Recipes
I prefer to buy shrimp that has already been shelled and deveined, but that will cost more. If you're watching your pennies, buy shrimp that need cleaning and shelling and do the work yourself. It isn't that hard; you just need lots of patience.
To peel shrimp, simply gently pull the shell off beginning near the legs. Remove the shell and pull the legs off. You may leave the tail on or remove it, depending on how the shrimp will be served (in appetizers like shrimp cocktail, the tail is usually left on to facilitate serving). To devein shrimp, make a shallow cut using a sharp knife along the curled back. Rinse out the dark vein under cold running water or pull it out with your fingers. If you eat a lot of shrimp, you might want to purchase a shrimp knife which makes peeling and deveining a snap.
Most recipes call for shrimp of a certain size. Shrimp is graded according to the number of the little shellfish it takes to make a pound. The larger the number, the smaller the size.
- Extra Colossal = Less than 10 per pound
- Colossal = Less than 15 per pound
- Extra Jumbo = 16 to 20 per pound
- Jumbo = 21 to 25 per pound
- Extra Large = 26 to 30 per pound
- Large = 31 to 40 per pound
- Medium Large = 36 to 40 per pound
- Medium 41 to 50 per pound
- Small 51 to 60 per pound
- Extra Small 61 to 70 per pound
- Tiny = Over 70 per pound