sustainably farmed/caught shrimp
I'm on the hunt for shrimp (frozen or otherwise) that are farmed or caught in a sustainable manner. A small amount of online research (thank you Monterey Bay list) has pointed me towards shrimp farmed/caught in the US or Canada. Unfortunately, I have not had any luck finding these in grocery stores.
So, I'm turning to the Chow folks. Any ideas? Ideally, it would be somewhere between downtown Brooklyn (where I work) and Sunset Park (where I live), although I wouldn't mind a jaunt over to Bay Ridge or somewhere else near by.
The best sustainably caught shrimp I can think of is the red spot prawn...sold live in some Asian markets. they are expensive...last time I saw them they were $25/lb...but worth it...super firm and incredibly sweet, tasting more like the best lobster than any kind of shrimp. They are not easy to find....I'm in Queens, and the only reliable place I know of is on Main st just west of the LIE....but I hear that there are lots of Asian markets in Sunset Park...its worth a trek through them to find a source.
That's a tough one. I've pretty much given up on shrimp for that reason. One exception is the tiny smoked wild-caught Maine shrimp we get at the Park Slope Food Coop. I imagine it's available at non-membership places too - Fairway? Union Market? It's sold in little 1/4 lb deli cups, in the coop at the smoked fish and pate cooler. Looks like this (although brand is different I think)
Also, not cheap. Pretty expensive, but totally delicious, packs a wallop of huge flavor.
The main season for Maine sweet shrimp is from Dec to March or April. They run about $.99-1.99/lb in the Asian markets, up to $5.99 in other markets. Look for the absolute freshest you can find...they should be bright reddish pink, no slime, and no smell. Eat a few raw (its the ama-ebi sold in sushi bars...which is crap in your run of the mill cheap sushi places). Drop the rest into boiling water or beer for no more than one minute...they are fantastic! Similar in flavor to the spot prawns I mentioned...the Maine shrimp are better raw, spot prawns (botan-ebi) better cooked.