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Shrimp are small animals that live on the floor of oceans and lakes and are globally popular seafood. Compared to their counterpart’s lobsters and prawns, shrimps are smaller in size. Shrimps range from a small fraction of an inch to 9 inches. Shrimp vary widely in color; tropical varieties are often brightly colored. Shrimps live in groups called schools and they not only swim forwards but are adept at swimming backwards too.

Origin of Shrimp

The term shrimp would basically mean to contract or wrinkle. The term was coined for the fish in the 1300s in connection with the English and German words Shrimpe and schrempen for it. Shrimps were first caught from oceans, seas and rivers and gradually shrimp farming started.

Methods of Preparation of Shrimp Recipes

There are innumerable ways of preparing shrimps. If one goes to a restaurant or simply a fish and chips store the varieties of shrimp preparations to be found would be mind boggling. The most famous way of cooking shrimps is frying them. Fried and deep-fried shrimps are globally preferred. Shrimps are also roasted, grilled, stewed, boiled, broiled and stir-fried. Shrimps are also dried and pickled to be savored and used as side dishes.

Cuisines Commonly Making Shrimp Dishes

Shrimp is an evitable part of seafood and hence used across the globe in all the cuisines. Shrimps are heavily used in coastal areas and oriental cuisine. In fact cuisines like Chinese, Hongkong, and Thai are incomplete without shrimps. In Europe shrimps are used in preparation of pastas and stews. Shrimps are also grilled and deep fried. In America shrimps are grilled and used in preparation of salads. Picked shrimps are also famous in many cuisines. Recipes for Poo choi, bagoong, Japanese sushi,Jambalaya and Kerala scampi are some of the most popular shrimp recipes.

Preferable Cooking Methods for Shrimps

Shrimps are delicate in nature and hence cook very fast. One has to be cautious while cooking shrimps to make sure that they are not under or over cooked. Shrimps have to be properly deveined (vein found in the center region to be removed) since it can cause food poisoning. The most common and preferable way of cooking shrimps is frying them. They can be shallow or deep-fried. Shrimps can also be grilled.

Nutritive Value of Shrimps

Shrimp is considered healthier than meat as seafood is lower in calories, higher in saturated fats and higher in good proteins. It is also a good source of selenium. The proteins present are lower in calories than those present in the meat of mammals. The seafood is also rich in the vitamins B12 ad vitamin D. The seafood is found to be beneficial for those suffering from cardiovascular problems. It is also found beneficial for people suffering from high blood pressure. Delicious dishes made using shrimps can always be therefore enjoyed by one and all without worry much about the health implications unless they are advised otherwise by their physicians. .

Buying and Storing Shrimps

Shrimps can be bought from the local fish market where they are available fresh and with shells. The taste would no doubt be much better than their frozen counterparts; however, efforts are required to remove the shells and the veins. Once cleaned, the shrimps can be stored in freezers for future use. Shrimps can also be bought from super markets in the frozen seafood section. Most often shrimps are already cleaned and packed. One has to check the date of the packing since the packaging should be too old. Shrimps are also available in canned forms and pickles. Shrimps have to be stored properly in freezers so that they don’t get spoilt.

Types of Shrimps

There are many types are shrimps which are either fished out of seas and rivers or harvested in Gulf areas and south side of Florida. There are five types of shrimps being consumed:

  • Pink shrimp- these are delicious and soft seafood with a sweet flavor.
  • White Shrimp- this is one of the most popular varieties of the seafood especially liked for its crunchiness. It is mostly consumed by Americans
  • Brown Shrimp- this shrimp is preferred over the pink and white shrimps when it comes to flavor as this variety of shrimp has a stronger flavor than the former two varieties mentioned.
  • Royal Red Shrimp – this is a delicious variety of shrimp that is used mostly for making sauces
  • Rock shrimp – this variety of shrimp is flavorful and the dishes made with this seafood have a delicious chewy feel.

Non- Food Uses of Shrimps

The colorful shrimps caught over the nets are not consumed but kept in aquariums for entertainment purposes. Due to their high nutritive and medicinal values, shrimps are also used in the production of medicines. Several non-conventional fields of medicines like Unani use shrimps as medicines. Trivia: Shrimp is a wonderful summer food which is luscious and contains high nutrition.