One of the best parts about living on the coast is our access to incredible fresh seafood, including local shrimp! We love shrimp because they’re high in flavor and protein but low in calories. Plus, they cook quickly, which is perfect for days when we’re short on time!
Though fresh shrimp is incredibly easy to cook, it can still be daunting for some people, as they don’t know how to buy it or prep it. So let’s learn that, shall we? First, do a quality check. Good shrimp should have a slightly salty smell, after all, they come from the ocean—if it smells fishy or foul, do yourself a favor and toss it! You should also check by touching it. The flesh should be firm and spring back into place after you touch it. If it has a mushy texture, it’s no good.
Once you buy fresh shrimp, you should take it directly home. If you have other stops to make before heading home, ask your grocery store or fishmonger to pack it on ice. Now, this also seems like a good time to address a safety concern if you’re choosing to use frozen shrimp. How you thaw your shrimp is incredibly important! Always thaw your shrimp in the refrigerator—it take a little longer, but if you thaw them in warm water or by having them sit out on the counter, this puts them at risk for bacteria growth, which can be incredibly harmful! You don’t want your shrimp to be above 40˚F until it’s cooking time!
Now once they’re thawed and ready for cooking, you’ll need to peel and devein them! To devein a shrimp, simply run a sharp paring knife along the back of the shrimp. This cut should be rather shallow. Then using the knife or your fingers, pull the dark veins out. It’s a quick and easy process!
Now that your shrimp are properly prepped, you can get cooking! Need some inspiration for how to use them? Paula has plenty to offer! From salads to air-fried shrimp and dips to bisques, we’re sharing six delicious ways to enjoy yummy shrimp!