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American Shrimp

American seafood buyers can choose from many types of shrimp when buying fresh and frozen seafood. Shrimp are sold as head-on or head-off, cooked or uncooked and plain or battered.

Shrimp are harvested commercially from US waters and farm raised shrimp are produced in parts of the USA. In addition to American shrimp, US markets also offer a variety of imported shrimp species.

Wild caught American shrimp include white shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus), brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus), pink shrimp (Penaeus duorarum), royal red shrimp (Pleoticus robustus or Hymenopenaeus robustus) and rock shrimp (Sicyonia brevirostris).
While these shrimp are noticeably different as fresh whole specimens, most shrimp appear similar after cooking.

Shrimp are excellent sources of tryptophan, selenium, and protein. They contain low levels of fat and calories and have no carbohydrates or trans fatty acids. Shrimp provide beneficial levels of vitamins B3, B6, B12, vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids as well as minerals such as iron, phosphorus, zinc and copper.

Shrimp are sized by "count", the value being the average number of shrimp specimens per pound. This applies to both whole and heads-off shrimp. For example, headless shrimp of 16/20 count means there are 16 to 20 headless shrimp per pound. Counts for headless shrimp typically range from 16/20 (the largest shrimp) to 60/70 (the smallest).

Shrimp are prepared in a variety of ways and lend themselves to most cooking styles. They can be steamed heads-on or heads-off and peeled for use in dishes such as salads, soups, pasta dishes and chowders. Shrimp can also be peeled raw and sautéed or battered and fried. Some dishes require specific sizes of shrimp such as shrimp salads which sometimes require small shrimp.

Uncooked shrimp can be frozen and stored for later use. To freeze shrimp, place 1 pound of shrimp in a 1-quart freezer bag. Add water and seal the bag, pushing out all the air as you seal. Place freezer bags flat on a freezer rack until they are completely frozen. A 1 pound package of shrimp will take about 18 hours to completely thaw.

Submitted by:

John C. Banks

The author maintains outdoor related websites including Fresh-Seafood, Commercial Fishing and Outdoors USA.




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