Shrimp: Everything You Need to Know

by Chef Wards

In case you missed our previous post, we’re in the height of Seafood Month! Which means we’re dedicating 3 weeks to the best fish in the sea. Today is our second installment, and I’m sharing everything you need to know about shrimp.

Why shrimp? I mean, who doesn’t love it? It’s easy to find, easy to cook and can be enjoyed in so many ways. Think shrimp cocktail, grilled shrimp, shrimp scampi, shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole… Bubba Gump would be proud!

How to Pick the Best-Quality Shrimp

  1. Go Wild: Wild-caught seafood is always best. If it’s not available, look for sustainable labels. Ethical shrimp is not only better for the environment, but it tastes better, too. The Monterey Bay Seafood Watch offers more information on making choices to promote a healthy ocean.
  2. Size Matters: Shrimp is usually sold by the pound and is measured by how many shrimp can fit into that pound. U15 means that the pound will contain 15 or less (so they’re large), while U51 means the pound will contain 51 or more (so they’re small). Check out this size chart for details.
  3. Keep it Fresh: Shrimp shouldn’t have an unpleasant odor. Nope, seafood should always smell like the sea (for obvious reasons). You should also avoid or toss shrimp that’s slimy, limp or contains black spots.

What else do you need to know? Well, the recipe you select should indicate whether or not you’ll need a certain variety or size, or if the shrimp should remain in the shell or not. So let’s talk recipes. Here are a few we’ve bookmarked for your summer seafood adventures…

Artisan-Approved Recipes

Grilled Shrimp with Garlic: Skip the stove and head outdoors with this Spanish-inspired grilled shrimp dish from Bobby Flay.

Buttered Prawns with Tomato, Olives and Arak: From Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, this unique recipe adds intrigue with arak—a Middle Eastern liquor that’s similar to Pernod.

Shrimp Scampi: A light, elegant dish from Tyler Florence, featuring shrimp cooked with white wine and butter and tossed with linguini. It’s the perfect pasta.

Shrimp Creole: From the famed New Orleans Chef Emeril Lagasse, this classic preparation may not be the healthiest, but it sure does pack a lot of intensity.

Which recipe do you plan to try this week? Let us know in the comments below or snap a pic and tag us. Then, check back next week as Seafood Month continues. It’s #betterthansharkweek!

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