If you are not sure how to buy shrimp don’t worry, we have got the answers in our How To Buy Shrimp Article. Selecting the right shrimp is the first step to a perfect shrimp dish.
1. Buy Frozen Shrimp: Unless you are in a hurry to use your shrimp we suggest always buying shrimp that is frozen. Almost all shrimp available has been previously frozen. The grocery store or seafood market is thawing it for you to offer convenience. Shrimp can be thawed at home in less then 30 minutes so if you don’t need it thawed right now stick to the frozen bags. The reason is that when you are thawing it yourself you know how long it has been thawed giving you more control over the best quality.
2. Avoid buying shrimp that has already been peeled: Because most shrimp is previously frozen as mentioned above you want to buy shrimp with the shell on. The shell helps to protect the meat from freezer burn. It may still have the vein in it. This is ok. The vein can be left in or easily be removed if you prefer. So whether you are buying it frozen or thawed, buy shrimp with the shell on.
3.Color and Appearance: When you are shopping for shrimp watch for Color and Appearance: Look for a nice translucent color. Avoid shrimp that has any black spots or rings. These are not harmful, it just means the shrimp is getting older and is starting to break down. Avoid buying shrimp that looks yellow. It may mean it’s been soaked in a solution to remove the black spots or rings.
4. Smell: If buying thawed shrimp never buy shrimp that smells strong or “shrimpy” –my term for fishy smelling. It should hardly omit an odor at all. It may have a slight saltwater smell but nothing else. Again, buying frozen shrimp is the best way to go but if you are in a hurry and just want to throw together a fast shrimp cocktail, follow the guidelines above if buying thawed shrimp. If you prefer to buy cooked shrimp for your appetizer, look for a nice pink colored shrimp. Size is really your preference. There won’t be much of a difference in flavor from the large to the small shrimp. Look for a nice firm texture. You do not want shrimp that is flimsy. It should have a nice firm curl to it. (Meaning the tail curls around and stays tucked toward its body)
Final Recommendation on How To Buy Shrimp: Always use raw shrimp when cooking with it. Never use previously cooked shrimp in a recipe where you have to cook it again. It will turn rubbery and tough.
How much shrimp should you buy? A good rule of thumb is approx. 1/4 lb per person cooked shrimp. One lb. of raw in the shell shrimp is equal to approx. 1/2 lbs. of peeled and cooked shrimp.
That’s it! It is that easy. Now you can go ahead and create a perfect shrimp dish tonight.
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