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Sep 4, 2009 01:34 PM

Where to buy raw large HEAD-ON, LEGS-ON shrimp in Baltimore

I need essentially whole large shrimp for an awesome recipe for a special dinner. I was just at the Mt Washington Whole Foods and they don't have them but they told me to call on Sunday to find out if they can get them. I'll need them next Tuesday (the 8th). Barring that option, who can reliably be said to stock this? Cross Street? Faidley's? The place near Hopkins Medical? I'd rather get them from a place that practices some sort of environmentally sustainable practices (as Whole Foods fish counter guys claim they do) but beggers can't be choosers. Where should I go? Thanks.

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  1. H Mart in Catonsville usually has head-on shrimp

    1 Reply
    1. re: hon

      Thanks. I'll go there if I have to but I'd rather go to one of the many seafood markets in the city. Any other suggestions?

    2. I've seen them at the seafood stand at Broadway Market, but I don't know if they have them all the time.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Hal Laurent

        Thanks. I found some phone numbers for the stalls ( assuming they answer) so I guess I can call before going.

      2. so where's the awesome recipe link?

        10 Replies
        1. re: hill food

          But where to find head-on, leg-on alive? Head-on once-frozen/thawed tastes the same as head-off once-frozen and thawed. I think DC has some vendors who drive up from NC, but Bmore...?

          1. re: chowsearch

            I can't deal with alive. And, like I said, beggars can't be choosers.

            1. re: chowsearch

              I saw some super large alive shrimp at Great Wall. These were not regular shrimp though...I think they were mantis shrimp....going for 19.99/lb.


            2. re: hill food

              Ok but I'm warning you. You might never be able to eat another shrimp dish... (also it calls for three sticks of butter!!!)


              This dish accounts for like 50% of my posts on Chow Hound (on the New Orleans board) and I'm pretty damn excited to make it at home since flying to New Orleans just to eat it is not feasible (although tempting)

              1. re: kukubura

                Oh man. 3 sticks of butter for an appetizer that serves 4? wow. Let us know how it goes, i'm really curious if you think that is the right amount of fat or just TOO much.

                1. re: ivysmom

                  I mean... it's rich as all hell. I wouldn't eat it every day. I can't say how they cook it in their kitchen, if it's the same as the recipe on their site and in their book, but I've had it at that restaurant a few times and it's seriously just about the best thing ever.

                  1. re: kukubura

                    Shrimp Minelli - the SO's mom made this. classic NOLA dish. no need to devein.

                    add a bay leaf to the boil and plenty of EVOO with a dash of hot sauce it's good head on or off.

                      1. re: crowsonguy


                        SO= Significant Other

                        what one might be able to call a spouse in some places.

                      2. re: hill food

                        while EVOO can replace some of the butter, a splash of beer or white wine doesn't hurt...

              2. For those who care, the fish guys at both area Whole Foods checked with their suppliers for me and couldn't get it on my time frame. My next step was to call H Mart and then work my way down the list. The woman at H Mart was like "Oh, sure we have those every day." So H Mart it is! Why play around when I can just go there and handle business.

                I'll post pics and thoughts on the dish after I've made it tomorrow.

                I've never been to this particular restaurant but this is sort of it (different restaurant's recipe, but same concept): Really an unbelievable flavor. I might go a little light on the butter, or at least start light and then add more if I need it... Three sticks... It's different when you're making it yourself and not just having it magically appear out of a restaurant kitchen!

                1. Here we go! H Mart was a success, although they weren't jumbo, more like medium to large. I still went with them because I decided that cooking them with the heads was more important than the size. Still, it ended up being a little weird since there were soooo many more shrimp than I was expecting to have and managing them individually was tricky. Also, I agree that having them been frozen and thawed (as I assume they were) robbed them of a little bit of their flavor. That said, the sauce was unreal. Sopping it up with the bread was like being back in New Orleans. I ended up using a little over two sticks of butter since I was adding it bit by bit and stopped when the dish looked right. I'm attaching a pic.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: kukubura

                    I think that it is safe say that H Mart sells more seafood in a day than many places sell in a week. And in seafood, volume is a good thing. And I agree the heads are the most important part-- I think that the head on shrimp hold in the tastey fat that is lost if the head is removed. Always smell before you buy, especially with the heads on.

                    H Mart is also a fantastic place for fruit and vegetables, it really is worth the trip.

                    Also, and most importantly, try the marinated beef ribs. A couple minutes on a verrrrrry hot grill, and they are very tastey.

                    1. re: Steve_C

                      We don't eat meat other than seafood so I'll have to take your word on that. I'm sure it's awesome.

                      H-Mart is a fun store, that's for sure.

                      By the way, if you want to read my full thoughts on the BBQ shrimp dish google the phrase "Fit for a Queen: Tomato Salad, New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp, and Bread Pudding with Whiskey Cream Sauce"