For years my culinary students have told me how much they love shrimp. They’re pretty surprised when I tell them that these crustaceans are not only delicious, but good for you too! Here’s why we love shrimp and how you can too.
90% of the shrimp Americans consume is imported from countries in the Central and South America and Asia-Pacific regions. The hundreds of species of shrimp are typically divided into 2 basic categories: warm-water and cold-water shrimp. The rule of thumb is the colder the water, the smaller and juicier the shrimp.
Shrimp ranges in hue from deep red to pink to grayish-white to yellow and even dark green. When cooked, most shrimp shells change color due to a heat-induced chemical change.
You can buy shrimp according to their size—usually you’ll find that larger shrimp cost a prettier penny. Colossal shrimp usually come 10 or less per pound, jumbo 11-15 per pound, extra-large 16-20 per pound, large 21-30 per pound, medium 31-35 per pound, small 36-45 per pound and miniature about 100 per pound. Of course, these numbers can vary from region to region. As a general rule, one pound of whole, raw shrimp yields ½ to ¾ pound of cooked meat.
Shrimp is available all year round. They can be found in various forms at your local market such as shelled or unshelled, cooked or raw and fresh or frozen.