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To shell or not to shell... That is the question...

CookingMyWay's picture

Shrimp.  When it comes to food from the sea - shrimp is in my top 5.  I eat shrimp at least once a week.  We have shrimp boats in Jacksonville that go out 6 days a week and the shrimp from our local waters are pretty good.  Because they're local they are never frozen.  I go over to Mayport (where all the fish boats around here dock) and buy from a market named Safety Harbor.  Anyhoo - I can't stand it when shrimp comes with that last joint and tail left on it.  It may look pretty to have them on there but totally impractical to get in there at a fine restaurant o get the meat out (depending on what you're eating).  99 out of 100 times when I'm cooking them they're coming off (unless we're doing a peel and eat thing).  Now I will say I never just disregard the shells - If for some reason I'm not using them for a stock right then I put them in a double ziplock and stick them in the freezer.  I usually remove the shells and make a quick stock with them and poach the shrimp in the stock.  If you're just going to boil the shrimp and don't wan the shell on - it only takes 20 minutes to make a quick shrimp stock.  I will say that no matter what I'm doing with the shrimp I always devein them...  Below is a link from the times that supports what I've been doing for years...  


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shantihhh's picture
For Thai dishes I usually leave the shell on for the added flavour and moisture, and always shell on for tom yum goong. Now for our huge Monterey Bay Prawn we cook them in garlic butter with a splash of sherry-yep shells on. The roe hngs between the legs and is soooo yummy I wouldn't want to waste that. Yes messy and so dang good. Of course smaller shrimp and prawn are peeled for salads and such, but for the 8-10 to a pound and the even larger prawn leave those shells on! Spotted Prawn are a fav here as well-buy them live in Asian markets. Ever have drunken shrimp? A Chinese speciality I learned to make in Gunagzhou/Canton. Happy shrimp! Happy tummy!
To Shell Or Not To Shell... That Is The Question...