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Head-on shrimp?

On a whim, I bought a pound of head-on shrimp last night. Now I'm not entirely sure what to do with them and searching hasn't turned up a whole lot. Anyone have dinner suggestions for me? It's raining today so would be nice if I could cook inside (as opposed to grilling). Thanks in advance!

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  1. Remove the digestive intestine on the back and broil them, after short marinade.

    I buy them this way for freshness, and usually remove the heads and shells, for any conventional recipe, but you may want to try a head on broil, or boil, to see what they are like. Asian diners like to suck the meat out of the head, but I have never done this.

    Use them today, as part of the head will go mushy quickly.

    1. Straight-up Chinese/Asian steamed is a great way to go if they're really fresh (I also wouldn't hold them overnight if you can avoid it). Give them a quick marinade in shaoxing (or dry sherry) and soy sauce with a bit of sugar, garlic and ginger, then steam them, peel and dip in a little soy with some fresh chile, if you like.

      You can remove the intensine if it really bothers you, but it's such a pain and it isn't necessary.

      And it's ALL about sucking the heads -- otherwise, what's the point of paying for 'em? :-)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dmnkly

        Yeah, it is all about sucking the heads. I grew up eating head on shrimp and never paid attention to the intestine. Can you de-vein the shrimp with the head still intact? I've always eaten shellfish dipped in soy and/or acid, hardly butter.

      2. Heads up or on as the case may be.

        Happy 7 on Spadina often serves this dish, which they call Spicy Salt Shrimp, as one of their lunch special. Tasty crunchy goodness. Here's a recipe: http://www.grouprecipes.com/21251/sal...

        1. Barbecued Shrimp (Louisiana style that is). Peel, suck, eat, yum.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bkhuna

            Absolutely. I second this one. I'll even third it. Best thing I ate while in NOLA.

          2. Head On...Apply Directly To The Forehead.

            Sorry...couldn't help myself. Actually, I'd toss them with some melted butter and soy sauce, spread them out in a single layer on a broiling pan, and broil for a couple of minutes per side. Eat 'em as they are...head, shell, legs, tail...EVERYTHING.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ricepad

              Yes, I do the same -- eat everything (unless the shrimps are more like huge langostines where the shells are inedible). I know it may look odd with me munching a head with an antennae sticking out of my mouth. But there's a lot of flavor in the shells. No sense it going to waste.

              1. re: fourunder

                Heads add a lot of flavor, so either rip 'em off if grilling and save them to make shrimp stock, or do peel-and-eat, so the heads get into the boil.

                Remember any recipe needs to be adjusted.. if you stick by portions in a recipe, most don't include head weight..

                Hopefully a good buy - usually the more processing, the less fresh the shrimp, even when frozen and thawed..

              2. I boiled some the other night in a light broth, added some fresh udon noodles and finished with some light miso for a one-pot "soup". The broth took on rosey color. They were a bit messy to peel and eat, but delicious and worth it!

                1. Thanks for all the suggestions! I ended up doing them Louisiana style, with some crusty bread and a salad on the side. Delicious! And at only $4 a pound, I'll be buying these again soon to try out some of the other ideas. A bit messy, but very worth the effort.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: kkbriggs

                    how did you prepare them? I love the flavor and the price, and am looking for more ideas!

                    1. re: chowfamily

                      Roughly following this recipe, but omitting most of the butter: http://www.nolacuisine.com/2006/06/04...

                      They were great but I think I'll go simpler next time - maybe salt and pepper, bay leaf, white wine, garlic, and some crushed red pepper, and throw in some parsley at the last minute?

                  2. Well next time you get head-on shrimp and want to try something different, you can just deep-fry them (coated in rice flour and salt, or you can try other frying variations) with the head and shells on and everything. You can actually eat the whole thing...nice and crispy. I've never sucked out the heads but it's probably tasty. Less work peeling shells too!