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Shrimp (food)

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Shrimp (food)

Marinated king prawns

Shrimp and prawn are important types of seafood that are consumed worldwide. In biological terms, shrimp and prawns belong to different suborders of Decapoda, however they are very similar in appearance and in commercial farming and fisheries, the terms are often used interchangeably. However, recent aquaculture literature increasingly uses the term "prawn" only for the freshwater forms of palaemonids and "shrimp" for the marine penaeids.[1]

In the United Kingdom, the word "prawn" is more common on menus than "shrimp"; while the opposite is the case in North America. The term "prawn" is also loosely used to describe any large shrimp, especially those that come 15 (or fewer) to the pound (such as "king prawns", yet sometimes known as "jumbo shrimp"). Australia and some other Commonwealth nations follow this British usage to an even greater extent, using the word "prawn" almost exclusively. When Australian comedian Paul Hogan used the phrase, "I'll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you" in an American television advertisement,[2] it was intended to make what he was saying easier for his American audience to understand, and was thus a deliberate distortion of what an Australian would typically say. In Britain very small crustaceans with a brownish shell are called shrimp, and are used to make potted shrimps. They are also used in dishes where they are not the primary ingredient.

Shrimp and other shellfish are among the most common food allergens.[3] The Jewish laws of Kashrut forbid the eating of shrimp.[4] According to the King James version of the Old Testament, it is acceptable to eat finfish, but shrimp are an abomination and should not be eaten.[5] In Islam, the Shafi'i, Maliki and Hanbali schools allow the eating of shrimp, while the Hanafi school does not allow it in Sunni Islam. Nor does the Shi'ite school (Ja'fari) allow it.

Nutrition and toxins

Raw shrimp (mixed species)
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 297 kJ (71 kcal)
0.91 g
1.01 g
Saturated 0.115 g
Monounsaturated 0.080 g
13.61 g
Vitamin A 180 IU
Vitamin D
2 IU
Trace metals
54 mg
0.21 mg
22 mg
244 mg
113 mg
566 mg
0.97 mg
Other constituents
Water 83.01 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Mussels and shrimps, Van Gogh 1886
External video
Peeling and Deveining Shrimp - YouTube

Shrimp are high in levels of omega-3s (generally beneficial) and low in levels of mercury (generally toxic).[6] As with other seafood, shrimp is high in calcium, iodine and protein but low in food energy. A shrimp-based meal is also a significant source of cholesterol, from 122 mg to 251 mg per 100 g of shrimp, depending on the method of preparation.[7] Shrimp consumption, however, is considered healthy for the circulatory system because the lack of significant levels of saturated fat in shrimp means that the high cholesterol content in shrimp actually improves the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol and lowers triglycerides.[8]

Comparative mercury levels[9]
Species Mean ppm
Swordfish 0.995
Shark 0.979
Tuna (bigeye) 0.689 Fresh/frozen
Grouper 0.448 All species
Patagonian toothfish 0.354
Halibut 0.241
Bass 0.152 Striped, black and sea bass
Cod 0.111
Carp 0.110
Lobster (American) 0.107
Herring 0.084
Crab 0.065 Blue, king and snow crab
Haddock 0.055 Atlantic
Mullet 0.050
Pollock 0.031
Catfish 0.025
Squid 0.023
Salmon * 0.022 Fresh/frozen
Anchovies 0.017
Sardine 0.013
Tilapia * 0.013
Oyster 0.012
Clam * 0.009
Salmon * 0.008 Canned
Scallop 0.003
Shrimp * 0.001
* indicates methylmercury only was analyzed (all other results are for total mercury)


Frozen shrimp

Shrimp are marketed and commercialized with several issues in mind. Most shrimp are sold frozen and marketed based on their categorization of presentation, grading, colour and uniformity.[10]


Split raw shrimp

There's a million ways to cook shrimp... shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich...

American soldier "Bubba" in Vietnam, in the 1994 romantic-comedy film Forrest Gump[11]
A steamed tail-on shrimp

Preparing shrimp for consumption usually involves removing the head, shell, tail, and "sand vein".

To de-shell a shrimp, the tail is held while gently removing the shell around the body. The tail can be detached completely at this point, or left attached for presentation purposes.

Removing the "sand vein" (a euphemism for the digestive tract) is referred to as "deveining". The sand vein can be removed by making a shallow cut lengthwise down the outer curve of the shrimp's body, allowing the dark ribbon-like digestive tract to be removed with a pointed utensil. Special deveining tools are sometimes used but knives, skewers, and even toothpicks can be used to devein.[12][13] Alternatively, if the tail has been detached, the vein can be pinched at the tail end and pulled out completely with the fingers. On large shrimp, the "blood vein" (a euphemism for the ventral nerve cord) along the inner curve of the shrimp's body is typically removed as well. The shrimp is then rinsed under cold running water. Removing the vein is not essential, as it is not poisonous and is mostly tasteless.[14] Deveining does slightly change the flavour and makes it more consistent.[15] Shrimp also sometimes consume small amounts of sand by accident and the vein thus might be gritty.

Shrimp and prawns are versatile ingredients, and are often used as an accompaniment to fried rice. Common methods of preparation include baking, boiling, frying and grilling. They are as delicate as eggs with regard to cooking time. When they are overcooked, they have a tough and rubbery texture. Remove them from the heat when they just start to change color to pink.[16]

Recipes using shrimp form part of the cuisine of many cultures. Strictly speaking, dishes containing scampi should be made from the Norway lobster, a shrimp-like crustacean more closely related to the lobster than shrimp. Scampi is often called the "Dublin Bay prawn", and in some places it is quite common for other prawns to be used instead.

Wet shrimp is commonly used as a flavouring and as a soup base in Asian cuisines while fried shrimp is popular in North America. In Europe, shrimp is very popular, forming a necessary ingredient in Spanish paella de marisco, Italian cacciucco, Portuguese caldeirada and many other seafood dishes. Shrimp curry is very popular in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Shrimp are also found in Latin and Caribbean dishes such as enchiladas and coconut shrimp. Other recipes include jambalaya, okonomiyaki, poon choi and bagoong. Shrimp are also consumed as salad, by frying, with rice, and as shrimp guvec (a dish baked in a clay pot) in the Western and Southern coasts of Turkey. In the subject of Japanese sushi, shrimp has long been valued as the "king of sushi-dane", as its composition can be either raw or cooked, and its latter preparation has often been considered a good introduction or choice for those unfamiliar to eating sushi, especially dishes involving raw fish.

Shrimp dishes

Name Image Origin Description
Bagoong alamang Philippines A condiment made of partially or completely fermented shrimp fry and salt.[17] The fermentation process also results in fish sauce called patis.[18]
Balchão India A spicy seafood dish made from fish or prawns in a dark red and fiery tangy sauce. Balchão is almost like pickling and can be made days in advance without reheating. The traditional balchão uses a paste made from dried shrimp known as galmbo in Konkani.Many people leave out the dried shrimp paste as this lends a fairly strong fishy flavour to the dish. Is often bottled and can be eaten as a side dish.
Cahuamanta Mexico Usually prepared as soup, containing manta ray, shrimp and vegetables. Can also be prepared as tacos.
Camaron rebosado Philippines deep-fried battered shrimp served with sweet and sour sauce.[19] Known as the Philippine version of tempura[20]
Cincalok Malaysia Made of fermented small shrimp or krill, usually served as a condiment together with chillis, shallots and lime juice. It is a fish paste, similar to bagoong alamang in the Philippines.
Dancing shrimp Japan
External video
Eating live "dancing shrimp" in Thailand
Odori ebi, lit. "dancing shrimp", is a sashimi delicacy in Japan. It includes live baby pink shrimp wriggling their legs and waving their antennae as they are eaten. The meal is prepared rapidly and quickly served to ensure the shrimp are still alive. In a parallel to the drunken shrimp below, dancing shrimp are usually dunked in sake. Dancing shrimp are also eaten in Thailand, where they are known as Goong Ten, กุ้งเต้น.
Dobin mushi Japan Traditional seafood broth, steamed and served in a dobin tea pot with shrimp, chicken, soy sauce, lime, and matsutake mushroom.
Drunken shrimp China
External video
Drunken Shrimp – YouTube
A popular dish in parts of China, based on fresh-water shrimp that are placed in a strong liquor, baijiu, and then eaten, often while they are alive. Modified recipes are used in different parts of China. For example, the drunken shrimp can be cooked in boiling water instead of serving them while they are still live. In other recipes, the shrimp are boiled first and then marinated in alcohol.[21]
Dynamite roll Canada A Western-style sushi, common in Western Canada. Usually contains a piece of prawn tempura and masago (capelin roe), with vegetables like radish sprouts, avocado and/or cucumber, as well as Japanese mayonnaise.
Fried prawn Japan A deep fried prawns are a popular ingredient of bento. Traditionally Kuruma Ebi was used, but since a decline in its cultivation, black tiger shrimp or Ise Ebi are used instead
Seafood gumbo United States Gumbo is a stew or soup that probably originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. Seafood gumbo typically consists of a strongly-flavored stock, shrimp and crabmeat, sometimes oyster, a thickener, and seasoning vegetables, which can include celery, bell peppers, and onions (a trio known in Cajun cuisine as the "holy trinity"). Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used: the African vegetable okra, the Choctaw spice filé powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves), or roux, the French base made of flour and fat.[22]
Halabos na hipon Philippines Freshly caught shrimp that is boiled in little water or in its own juices.[23][24] The modern way of cooking it is adding a little soda like Sprite to add a sweetish flavor.
Prawn Noodles China
A noodle soup dish based on prawns. A stock is made using dried shrimp, plucked heads of prawns, white pepper, garlic and other spices. More prawns are added to, together with egg noodles and bean sprouts, and possible pork or fish. This forms a richly flavoured dark soup which is topped with fried shallots and spring onion. Traditionally, lard is added to the soup, but this is now less common due to health concerns. The dish is usually served with freshly cut red chili slices in a light soy sauce and lime. Hae mee literally means "prawn noodles".
Har gow China A dumpling served in dim sum,[25] sometimes called a "shrimp bonnet" for its pleated shape. Traditionally, should have at least seven and preferably ten or more pleats imprinted on its wrapper. The wrappers are made with boiling water, to which wheat starch, tapioca starch, oil and a small amount of salt are added.[25] The filling contains shrimp, cooked pork fat, bamboo shoots, scallions, cornstarch, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, and other seasonings.[25] The pouch-shaped dumpling is then steamed in a bamboo basket until translucent. Listed at number 34 on World's 50 most delicious foods readers' poll complied by CNN Go in 2011.[26]
Kaeng som Thailand A sour and spicy shrimp curry or soup with vegetables,[27] with a characteristic sour taste which comes from tamarind. A paste called nam phrik kaeng som[28] which includes shrimp paste, shallots, and sometimes red chili peppers forms the base for the curry. The curry is usually sweetened with palm sugar and served with steamed rice. Fish that keep their consistency after boiling, such as the common snakehead, can be used instead of shrimp. Another variant uses fish eggs.[29] Kaeng som is .
Krupuk Widespread A deep fried cracker and popular snack food, usually based on shrimp and other ingredients that give the taste.
Longjing prawns China Live shrimp are coated with egg white and moistened starch, fried in lard at a medium-low temperature for 15 seconds, removed from the oil and drained when jade-white in colour, and then quickly stir-fried over extreme heat with boiling water infused with Longjing tea, tea leaves and Shaoxing wine. This dish consists primarily of white and green colours; the colours are elegant and the flavour is light and fragrant. It is also known as shrimp stir-fried with Dragon Well tea, and is a specialty of Hangzhou in the Zhejiang Province.
Potted shrimp Lancaster Traditional Lancastrian dish made with brown shrimp flavoured with mace. The dish consists of brown shrimp in mace-flavoured butter, which has set in a small pot. Cayenne pepper and nutmeg may also be included.[30] It is traditionally eaten with bread. The butter acts as a preservative.[31] Potted shrimp was a favourite dish of Ian Fleming who passed on his predeliction for the delicacy to his famous fictional creation James Bond.[32] Fleming reputedly used to eat the dish at Scotts Restaurant on Mount Street in London where it is still served to this day.[32]
Prawn ball China Balls made with prawn meat that has been finely pulverized. Gourmet prawn balls are pulverized by hand.
Prawn cocktail Great Britain
North America
Shelled prawns in a pink sauce based on mayonnaise and tomato, served in a glass.[33] It was the most popular hors d'œuvre in Great Britain from the 1960s to the late 1980s. In North America the sauce is red, essentially ketchup plus horseradish.[33]
Prawn roll Australia Take away, typically sold from stalls or small shops on the side of highways or in restaurants in areas of Australia where prawn fishing is a major industry.[34] Home made or available commercially, usually deep frozen.[35] Typically made with a soft white roll approximately six inches (15 cm) long, stuffed with a dozen or more peeled prawns, lettuce and a thousand island or cocktail style sauce. Cay be eaten cold, deep fried, or coated in tempura batter and deep fried.[36][37]
Saeujeot Korea A variety of jeotgal, salted and fermented food made with small shrimp. It is the most consumed jeotgal along with myeolchijeot (salted anchovy jeot) in South Korea, mostly used as an ingredient in kimchi and dipping pastes. The shrimp used for making saeujeot are called jeotsaeu (젓새우) and are smaller and have thinner shells than with ordinary shrimp.[38] The quality of saeujeot largely depends on the freshness of the shrimp. In warm weather, fishermen may immediately add salt for preliminary preservation.
Sesame shrimp China A syncretic dish, commonly found in Chinese restaurants throughout the English-speaking world. The dish is similar to General Tso's chicken but sweet rather than spicy.[39] Battered shrimp is deep-fried, then dressed with a translucent, reddish-brown, semi-thick, sauce made from corn starch, vinegar, wine or Sake, chicken broth, and sugar. Typically served with broccoli and topped with toasted sesame seeds. Chopped almonds may be substituted for the sesame seeds, to produce "almond shrimp".
Shrimp ball China Made with the shrimp's upper body, without the internal organs, and the rest of the lower body, and rolled into a ball.[40]
Shrimp cocktail Las Vegas The Golden Gate was the first to serve this fifty cent shrimp cocktail in 1959, now a Las Vegas cliché. Called the "Original Shrimp Cocktail" on the menu, it is a favorite of both locals and tourists.[41] The original Shrimp Cocktail consists of a regular-sized sundae glass filled with small salad shrimp and topped with a dollop of cocktail sauce. In 1991, the price was raised from 50¢ to 99¢ and in 2008 to $1.99.[41] The glass is not padded with lettuce or other fillers, which is often cited as the reason for the Original Shrimp Cocktail's popularity.
Shrimp Creole Creole Cooked shrimp in a mixture of whole or diced tomatoes, onion, celery and bell pepper, spiced with Tabasco sauce or another hot pepper sauce and/or cayenne-based seasoning, and served over steamed or boiled white rice.[42] The shrimp may be cooked in the mixture or cooked separately and added at the end. Creole-type dishes combine the qualities of a gumbo and a jambalaya. They are typically thicker and spicier than a gumbo, and the rice is prepared separately and used as a bed for the creole mixture, rather than cooked in the same pot as with a jambalaya. Creole dishes also do not contain broth or roux; instead, the creole mixture is simmered to its desired degree of thickness.
Shrimp DeJonghe Chicago A casserole of whole peeled shrimp blanketed in soft, garlicky, sherry-laced bread crumbs. It can be served as an appetizer or a main course. It has the oldest pedigree of Chicagoan cuisine, having originated in the late 19th or early 20th century at DeJonghe's Hotel and Restaurant.[43][44]
Shrimp roe noodles China A variety of Chinese noodle popular in Hong Kong. One of the special characteristic that distinguish this noodle from the many other varieties of Chinese noodle is the salty shrimp roe forming tiny black spots on strips of the noodles.[45] The noodle is made of wheat flour, salt, tapioca flour, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and shrimp roe.[46] It comes in a palm-sized hard noodle bundle. Because this noodle has some taste of its own, the most common method of cooking is directly boiling the noodles. Soy sauce or additional flavorings can still be added. Depending on the noodle brand, the black dots may disappear after cooking.
Shrimp toast China A Chinese dim sum dish which originated over 100 years ago in Canton. Made from small triangles of bread, brushed with egg and coated with minced shrimp and water chestnuts, then cooked by baking or deep frying. It is now a common appetizer around the world. A common variant in the United Kingdom and Australia is "sesame prawn toast", which involves sprinkling sesame seeds before the baking or deep frying process.
Vatapá Brazil Made from bread, shrimp, coconut milk, and finely ground peanuts and palm oil mashed into a creamy paste. This food is very popular in the North and Northeast, but it is more typical in the northeastern state of Bahia where it is commonly eaten with acarajé, although Vatapá is often eaten with white rice in other regions of Brazil.
White boiled shrimp Canton A type of night dish.[47] Made with shrimp in boiling water and served with the shells. The shrimp is eaten with soy sauce. When finished, people wash their hands in a bowl of warm tea and lemon.

See also


  1. ^ "Shrimp Aquaculture and the Environment - An Environment Impact Assessment Report, chapter 2; IAA report". Indian Aquaculture Authority. 2001. 
  2. ^ Bill Baker & Peggy Bendel. "Come and Say G’Day!". Travel Marketing Decisions (Association of Travel Marketing Executives) (Summer 2005). Retrieved December 21, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Common Food Allergens".  
  4. ^ Yoreh De'ah - Shulchan-Aruch Chapter 1, Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  5. ^ "All that are in the waters: all that... hath not fins and scales ye may not eat" (Deuteronomy 14:9-10) and are "an abomination" (Leviticus 11:9-12).
  6. ^ Smith KL and Guentzel JL (2010) "Mercury concentrations and omega-3 fatty acids in fish and shrimp: Preferential consumption for maximum health benefits" Marine Pollution Bulletin, 60 (9): 1615–1618. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.06.045,
  7. ^ "Cholesterol Content in Seafoods". Retrieved January 7, 2007. 
  8. ^ Elizabeth R. De Oliveira e Silva, Cynthia E. Seidman, Jason J. Tian, Lisa C. Hudgins, Frank M. Sacks & Jan L. Breslow (1996). "Effects of shrimp consumption on plasma lipoproteins".  
  9. ^ The mercury levels in the table, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from: Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish (1990–2010) U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed 8 January 2012.
  10. ^ Yung C. Shang, Pingsun Leung & Bith-Hong Ling (1998). "Comparative economics of shrimp farming in Asia".  
  11. ^ Bubba at the Internet Movie Database
  12. ^ What's Cooking America: All About Shrimp
  13. ^ Recipe Tips: How to Prepare and Devein Shrimp
  14. ^ H-E-B's Guide on Storing and Deveining Shrimp
  15. ^ How to Devein Shrimp
  16. ^ Cajun Shrimp Creole Recipe at
  17. ^ J. Dagoon (2000). Agriculture & Fishery Technology III. Rex Bookstore, Inc. pp. 242–243.  
  18. ^ National Research Council (U.S.). Panel on the Applications of Biotechnology to Traditional Fermented Foods (1992). Applications of biotechnology to traditional fermented foods: report of an ad hoc panel of the Board on Science and Technology for International Development. National Academies. pp. 132–133. 
  19. ^ Dagoon, Jesse D.; Aida L. Dagoon; Jasmin Flora L. Dagoon (1999). Culinary Arts.  
  20. ^  
  21. ^ 醉蝦
  22. ^ Gutierrez, C. Paige (1992) Cajun Foodways Page 56, Univ. Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9780878055630.
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ a b c Hsiung, Deh-Ta. Simonds, Nina. Lowe, Jason. [2005] (2005). The food of China: a journey for food lovers. Bay Books. ISBN 978-0-681-02584-4. p41.
  26. ^ CNN Go Your pick: World's 50 most delicious foods 7 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-11
  27. ^ Thai Sour Curry (Central Style)
  28. ^ nam phrik kaeng som
  29. ^ Gaeng som with fish eggs
  30. ^ Beeton, Isabella (1998) [1861]. The Book of Household Management (Facsim. reprint of: London, 1861 ed.). Lewis: Southover.  
  31. ^ Paston-Williams, Sara (2005). "Morecambe Bay shrimps". Fish: Recipes from a Busy Island. London:  
  32. ^ a b The Times, June 20, 2008
  33. ^ a b Karan Raj (2002). Modern Dictionary Of Tourism. Sarup & Sons.  
  34. ^ Tempura Roll (4pc) Tempura prawn and lettuce with special sweet soy sauce
  35. ^ Green Curry Prawn Spring Roll
  36. ^ Prawn hand rolls recipe
  37. ^ Classic fresh prawn roll (TV program)
  38. ^ 제4장 찬류 (pdf) (in Korean). 국립문화재연구소. p. 8~10p. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  39. ^ "Steps using Rice Flour." Recipe Steps.
  40. ^ "绍虾球 - 美食天下 > 美食厨房 私房菜、家常菜的做法". 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  41. ^ a b Ashley Powers, A jumbo Las Vegas deal doubles its price, Los Angeles Times, June 15, 2008, Accessed June 17, 2008.
  42. ^ Irma Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker (1997). Joy of Cooking. pp. page 519.  
  43. ^ Encyclopedia of Chicago: Belgians
  44. ^ Hallmark Magazine: Shrimp DeJonghe
  45. ^ CNN Go 40 Hong Kong foods we can't live without 13 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-09
  46. ^ Shrimp roe noodle packaging
  47. ^ "" 廣東菜係. Retrieved on 2009-08-15.

External links

External video
Shrimp: According to Pvt. Benjamin Buford 'Bubba' Blue - Forrest gump
Peeling and Deveining Shrimp - YouTube
When Japanese food is too fresh... - YouTube
  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • Shrimp at Wikibook Cookbooks
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