How to Choose and Prepare Shrimp

Tips for selecting―and cooking―this delectably sweet seafood.

By Sara Quessenberry
Roasted Peach and Shrimp SaladMikkel Vang
When buying fresh shrimp with shells, look for those that are shiny with no black spots. In general, "shrimp shouldn't be slimy, and they should smell like the sea," says Robert Wood, the executive chef at Georges' of Tybee, a restaurant on Georgia's Tybee Island. Any hint of an ammonia odor means the shrimp is going bad.
 
When buying frozen shrimp, which should be consumed within a month of purchase for the best flavor, make sure the package has two pieces of information printed on it: "IQF," meaning that each shrimp is individually quick-frozen, and "wild-caught in U.S.A." Wood believes the American wild variety have a superior flavor to farm-raised.
 
Here are recipes for what to do with the small seafood, once you've caught yourself a bag.
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This puree is also delicious spread on crunchy whole-grain toast. Top with the goat cheese and cilantro.