A shrimp is a crustacean similar to a prawn. They live in salt water or brackish water. They are smaller than prawns, have shorter legs and have branching gills.
As prawns, shrimps are harvested for consumption. They are high in calcium, iodine and protein. Shrimps are versatile ingredients and can be cooked by boiling, baking, steaming, or frying.
Shrimp typically have two pairs of claws, and the second segment of the abdomen overlaps the segments on either side. The abdomen shows a pronounced caridean bend.
Common shrimp species include pink, brown and snapping shrimp.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
Shrimp and prawns are versatile ingredients, and are often used as an accompaniment to fried rice. Common methods of preparation include baking, boiling, frying, and grilling.
It is a popular ingredient in appetizers, salads, chowders, and, of course, as a main dish.
Conserving and Storing
Cooked shrimp can be stored in a sealed bag no more than 3 days in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Both cooked and raw shrimp may be frozen, but freezing raw preserves a better flavor. Raw shrimp can be frozen with shell or without, but should have the heads removed. Raw frozen shrimp will last 6 months in the freezer while frozen cooked shrimp should be consumed within 2 months. Commercially-frozen raw shrimp will last longer in the freezer without deterioration, since they are flash-frozen fresh with little handling.
Frozen cooked and uncooked shrimp should ideally be thawed in the refrigerator in advance of need. They can be added frozen to casseroles and baked dishes. If you need to quickly thaw, you may put the shrimp under cold water, not warm. Warm water will begin the cooking process.