Ever wondered what the differences are between different types of shrimp? Find out here and try a few of our favorite shrimp seafood dishes.
Shrimp is the most popular variety of seafood consumed in the US. So popular, in fact, that the typical American eats around 4 pounds of shrimp per year!
Between Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida, a staggering 240 million tons of shrimp are farmed annually.
Delicious in salads, pasta dishes, curries or even an accompaniment to steak, shrimp are incredibly versatile and lend themselves well to spicy, sweet and sour flavors.
Varieties of Shrimp
Surprisingly, there are over 2000 shrimp species. But not all of them can be consumed - in fact, only 6 types of shrimp are actuially edible:
Pink shrimp - also referred to as salad shrimp as they work well with mild and sweet flavors in salads. They are typically pink when raw, but can also be white or gray too.
These shrimp are commonly farmed off the west coast of Florida.
Brown shrimp - varying in flavors, these shrimp are more firm than pink shrimp and have a brown-red shell. Once cooked, these shrimp turn pink.
As this type of shrimp has quite a distinct taste, they are often steamed or boiled before serving so that their true flavor shines through.
Rock shrimp - in the past, these shrimp were thrown back into the water as they were a challenge to clean. Luckily, there is now a machine available that removes their hard shell (the reason they are known as 'rock' shrimp).
With a sweet taste and firm texture, these shrimp are comparable to spiny lobsters, but are far cheaper.
White shrimp - these incredibly versatile shrimp are great for a range of cooking methods, including boiling, steaming, grilling, baking or frying.
They have a sweet taste and tend to be quite firm. They can grow up to eight inches long and are easy to clean, which also makes them popular.
Tiger shrimp - these shrimp are fished in Asian and African waters. They have a unique appearance in comparison to other shrimp types, as they have tiger stripes going along the length of their body.
They can grow as long as 12 inches which makes them great for skewering and grilling. They are mild in flavor and easy to cook.
Spot shrimp - similar in both color and shape, spot shrimp resemble lobsters and are often referred to as 'lobsters of Alaska'.
They are incredibly soft and tender and sweet in taste. Their shell can make them a challenge to prepare, but they are worth it! Similar to tiger shrimp, this variety can also grow up to 12 inches.
Easy Shrimp Recipes
Now that you know all about the various shrimp varieties, why not try out some of our favorite shrimp recipes?
As most shrimp cook in just several minutes, these recipes are quick and easy, meaning you can have dinner on the table in no time!
This Greek Shrimp with Tzatziki Sauce has a delicious Mediterranean flavor profile that is always a crowd pleaser.
For the curry lovers, this Chicken and Shrimp Curry is going to be a favorite.
A classic Shrimp Po Boy is also always a hit!