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May 13, 2008 11:08 AM

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:

        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.