Shrimp is one of the most popular types of seafood and is found on menus and in markets around the world. It is versatile and thus is a popular choice with cooks.
When a brown shrimp matures, it is about 4.5" to 6.5".
When a white shrimp matures, it is about 6" to 6.5".
When a pink shrimp matures, it is about 2.9" to 3.3".
The body curves slightly and usually the head has been removed by the time it gets to market. The body is encased in a clear, thin shell and ends with a tail. There are tentacles on the underside.
Selecting and Buying
Choose size depending on the recipe and/or personal taste preference, such as a large shrimp for stuffing.
In a seafood market, there is often signage stating how many shrimp to the pound depending upon size. This will help you gauge how many pounds to purchase depending upon how many people you are serving.
White shrimp range along the North Atlantic and coasts from New York to Campeche, Mexico.
Pink shrimp occur from the lower Chesapeake Bay south to Isla Mujeres, Mexico.
Each species is widely distributed around the Gulf of Mexico, with localized centers of abundance, but no distinct spawning grounds.
Source Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Preparation and Use
See "Cleaning" for preparation. May be used in a variety of ways: boiling, broiling, grilling, barbeque, fried, baked, in soups and gumbos, blackened and the list goes on.
It is important to remember to not over-cook shrimp because they will toughen. If they are part of a soup, gumbo, sauce, then add to the recipe later and only cook until done.
Don't throw away the shells, just rinse, and place in a pot and cover with water and boil for 15 minutes. This a great to use in soups, gumbos, etoufee.
Those who have lived along the coasts for generations will differ on whether you devein or not. It is a matter of appearance. If you wish to devein, then with a sharp knife and a delicate touch, run the knife along the black vein just deep enough to have access to the black vein and under running water remove it.
Conserving and Storing
May be frozen.