A Quick and Easy Guide To Shrimp

By Paleo
In Cooking Tips
Apr 3rd, 2012

Shrimp are a succulent seafood that can add great variety to your paleo diet. When selecting shrimp, and preparing shrimp, it can be a bit tricky to decipher between all the types and sizes.

Shrimp is a great seafood choice for those that might not be in the mood for fish, and they are relatively easy to prepare, and low in mercury. Some of the most popular shrimp choices are giant tiger prawns, Northern shrimp, pink shrimp, king prawns and bay prawns. In terms of flavor, many people prefer shrimp that reside in cold water, because they grown more slowly, which makes their meat more succulent and flavorful. The pink shrimp, also referred to as the deep-water shrimp, is one of the most popular selections in the United States. The tiger prawn, which is generally 6 (15 cm) to 12 inches (30 cm) in length, is also becoming a popular choice. This type of prawn has been popular in Asian cuisine for a long period of time.

Shrimp can be farm-raised or wild caught. For those following a paleo diet, it’s often best to select shrimp that are wild caught, because farm-raised shrimp,  much like livestock, are raised in overcrowded environments that can potentially contaminate the shrimp.

When purchasing shrimp, unless you live in a place where shrimp truly are sold fresh, it’s probably your best option to buy frozen, because shrimp are rarely sold fresh and shrimp that are frozen and then thawed for sale lose a lot of their flavor. When purchasing shrimp, you should also avoid those that have been peeled and deveined prior to purchase, as this can also lead to a loss of the flavor and texture of the shrimp.

Shrimp that are brown will likely have a very strong taste of iodine, which is a mineral they are abundant in, so if you have sensitive taste buds, you probably won’t like such a powerful flavor. Shrimp should be free of black spots on their shells, because this means their meat has begun to break down, and they also shouldn’t have shells that are yellowing or a gritty texture, because this can mean a bleaching agent has been applied to reduce the appearance of black spots on the shell. Shrimp should smell like salt water, and not have an overwhelmingly fishy smell when thawed, and they should feel firm to the touch, and completely fill-out their shell.

Other key indicators of freshness to look for when selecting shrimp include the appearance of the shell, which should be firm and glossy, rather than slippery or broken. The eyes of the shrimp or prawn should be visible and shiny, and not shrunken inward toward the shell or missing from the shrimp.

Shrimp can be a great way to experiment with new flavors in your favorite paleo dishes, so enjoy the tiny delicacies!

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