The first thing to know about shrimp is how many different types there are. There are over two thousand different variations of shrimp. Don’t worry, though – you won’t find many of these options at your grocery store. Instead, Northern cold-water shrimp and farm raised white and tiger shrimp are the three most common types. When purchasing shrimp, you can choose between fresh, frozen, raw, cooked, peeled, and unpeeled variations. When picking the best one for you, decide the amount of work you want to put in cleaning your shrimp and the type of dish you’d like to make with them.
Cleaning Your Shrimp
If you pick up your pack of shrimp and notice a line down it’s back, you may ask yourself “what is the black line in shrimp?” This dark line you see is the shrimp’s digestive tract. Most peeled and cooked variations are deveined meaning this part has been removed. Though it doesn’t sound very appealing, there is no health risk or negative aspect of consuming the shrimp with this vein. However, you may want to remove it if the thought of eating it is unappealing to you. To remove the vein, take a paring knife down the back of the shrimp to reveal the vein and discard it.
Purchasing uncooked fresh or frozen shrimp means you must cook it before consumption. There are many ways to cook shrimp including grilling, pan frying, broiling, and frying. But how do you know if your shrimp is cooked? When your shrimp is cooked well, it turns pink. This is because shrimp have a pigment known as astaxanthin which is associated with a pink pigment. As your shrimp gets hotter and is cooked, the pink color is visible because the astaxanthin is separated from its attached protein. So, if you’re wondering how to tell when shrimp is cooked, just look for a pink hue.
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