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Rock shrimp

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I don't know if anyone out there lives in Florida, but in Titusville and on I-Drive, there is a restaurant called Dixie Crossroads and their specialty is rock shrimp. My questions are:

1) how is rock shrimp different from other shrimp?
2) can you buy it at a grocery store (publix)
3) do you cook it the same way as you would normal shrimp (steam)?

Thanks for your feedback!

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  1. Thicker shells.

    Tastes more like lobster to me.

    When we lived in Pensacola, could buy from pickup trucks on the side of the road, would boil, not steam....

    1. These used to be readily available at the grocery store, but are far more scarce these days. I think the tougher shell may have been too difficult for people to deal with. I really like the flavor and texture.

      1. I can get frozen rock shrimp out of the shell at Trader Joe's. Check there if you have one near you. I think rock shrimp makes awesome pasta with scampi sauce.

        5 Replies
        1. re: debit

          Where is your Trader Joe's and have you bought them recently? My TJ's (in Chicago) seems to have stopped carrying them. They were super!

          1. re: bibi rose

            The TJ's I go to is in Silver Spring, MD. It was about two months ago I bought a couple of bags.

            1. re: debit

              Thanks! I guess I can continue to hope, then.

              1. re: bibi rose

                Yes!! I hate that TJs here in Chicago stopped carrying the rock shrimp! They were so good....

                1. re: annimal

                  count me in as one who misses TJ's rock shrimp in Chicago...they were my goto for deep fried shrimp po-boys

        2. Everytime I've had it at a restaurant they've been fried... just had some today in fact! I didn't know much about them either, so I'm glad this thread came up.

          1. I occasionally buy rock shrimp at my local butcher/fish shop in SF. They come peeled and are really delicious in stir fries, pasta or even on their own. One of my favorite ways to eat them is to gently saute them with lemon grass, then cool them and make fresh spring rolls with the meat and added veggies.
            I don't see them at all the markets, but they are almost always available at one particular market here. Are they hard to find in other regions?

            1 Reply
            1. re: rabaja

              Hey Rabaja,
              I know its been a couple of years since your response. I was wondering if rock shrimp were still available at your local butcher/fish monger shop? I need them for a rice cake recipe I enjoy making. Spanish chorizo with rock shrimp, manchego and parmesan. Quite good. Please let me know. Email me if you do not want the masses to know your favorite shop. trevor.may@hotmail.com

            2. Yum! Dixie Crossroads rock shrimp. Locals deride the place as a tourist trap (and it probably is) but those shrimp are luscious -- as are the fritters you get before your meal.

              At DC the shrimp are easy to eat because they are served on the half-shell. I wouldn't want to have to deal with unpeeled rock shrimp.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bob W

                What do you mean by "the shrimp are easy to eat because they are served on the half-shell"

                1. re: JMF

                  did you see the previous replies? apparently the shells are difficult to remove and the meat tastes like lobsters, so it seems that they are partially peeled at DC.

              2. I can occasioanlly get them fresh and shelled. I prefer shell on. more flavor but a b*&#h to shell. A lobstery flavor to me.

                1. Being a Yankee, I have never had a fresh rock shrimp. You can find them in fish markets up north, but beware, as everytime I have seem them they have been treated w/ Sodium-Tripoly-Phosphate to preseve them and add weight- much the same as many scallops.

                  1. I used to get rock shrimp at Winn Dixie when I lived in NC, I basically remember them being meatier than regular shrimp, they also have a much tougher shell as I recall. Haven't seen them anywhere (generally in the NE) after I left.

                    1. Twenty years ago DW and I brought 20# back from Fort Lauderdale for MIL birthday party. I peeled every one of these suckers. After 10# or so my fingers were raw to the bone.

                      Although they are GREAT flavor, I will only by them shelled at the market.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jfood

                        Dixie Crossroads has a wholesale company that sells frozen peeled rock shrimp to the groceries, but they're pretty seasonal (even though frozen) because DC needs to make sure they have enough in their restaurants. At DC, "partially shelled" means split open butterfly-style and deveined for broiling. Hard to get them this way in the stores, so get ready to mess up your fingers cutting and cleaning, if you buy them shells-on.