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Shrimp Salad Sandwich

What is the best type of shrimp to use for shrimp salad. The last time I made it I used a larger shrimp and it got lost.

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  1. Hiya! Not sure exactly what you mean by 'got lost,' but if it helps, I use pretty large shrimp, boiled in a tasty liquid (lots of Old Bay and lemons, juice them and add the juiced lemon shells, too). I keep the shells on when I boil them. I undercook them a bit, or add ice to the pot, so I can let them sit for awhile to soak up the flavor. Drain and peel. I chop them into three or four pieces, depending on size (about half-inch pieces)

    In addition, in case you're interested, I make a thicker version of remoulade for the dressing - sorry, no recipe, I just wing it to my taste - tons of recipes out there. Pile on buttered, toasted hot dog buns like a lobster roll. Or serve in endive leaves, tomato cups, or on lettuce. Yummy!

    1. Since you're going to chop the shrimp, I don't see where size matters. Cook it in a tasty medium (water, white wine, bay leaf, peppercorn, that have been simmered together for 15 minutes, or so). Don't overcook the shrimp. Cool, peel, chop. Add a little mayo, minced celery and shallot, S&P, maybe a tiny bit of very finely minced hot pepper, and you're good to go.

      1. use a medium size shrimp (mediums are sweeter than larger ones), poached in the shell in a court bouillon. use julia child's shrimp cocktail technique. this is similar http://capitalcookingshow.blogspot.co... , but i don't think you need to cook the shrimp that long. once the pot comes to a boil, i turn it off, then let it sit and cool. i think the shrimp get better when they sit in the cooled stock in the fridge for a while.

        a good addition to the salad is surimi (i know...i know...heresy), but it makes it "shrimpier" -- at least that's my opinion.

        8 Replies
        1. re: alkapal

          darn good idea, alkapal! shredded surimi would fill in the salad and make it less, um, drippy (?). I don't mind surimi at all when it's mixed with other stuff. I'm going to have to try that - thanks for the tip!

          1. re: southern_expat

            i would never have thought of it myself, but there is a shrimp salad that i love made with surimi, celery, etc. by harris teeter grocery store. i grab some when i get that craving (and to top it off in decadence, i eat it on a croissant!). i never realized it had surimi, until one day i looked at the ingredient list (DOH!). the dressing has a little tang to it, so i'm wondering if it may have a little sour cream in addition to some mayo. now i'll have to check it out more carefully.

            1. re: alkapal

              I have made one similar, I make it with a remoulade and like you add the surimi and tiny chopped celery and a grated hard boiled egg or two. A dash of red pepper, lemon juice over the fresh sea food., the remoulade mixed with all. Butter and grill croissants, and then use bibb lettuce. Did you give me this recipe?

              1. re: chef chicklet

                That sounds awesome. Now I'm craving a shrimp salad sandwich!!

                1. re: chef chicklet

                  no, chef c, but yours sounds right tasty!

            2. re: alkapal

              What? Fake shrimp has no place in shrimp salad. If you want to make a "fake shrimp salad," be my guest, but don't add this stuff to the real deal.

              1. re: pikawicca

                the salad to which i refer is primarily shrimp, but has some surimi. maybe that still is verboten in your mind, but i liked the taste of it.

                what i'm talking about is shrimp salad for a sandwich (and the shrimp are cut up). i might (probably would) omit the surimi if it's a straightforward "shrimp" salad where the shrimp are left whole and very lightly dressed -- where they are the "star" of the luncheon plate presentation.

                1. re: alkapal

                  I found that the best source for tiny fresh pink shrimp is at a Mexican market here in town. I love the sweetness of the tiny shrimp.

            3. in addition to my remarks above, i want to stress the absolute importance of using wild-caught U.S. gulf of mexico shrimp. pink shrimp are the ones i like. gulf shrimp are the best, tastiest shrimp. i buy them typically flash frozen, shell on. unless you're on the gulf coast (and sometimes even then) the flash frozen shrimp are "fresher" than the "fresh never frozen" at the fish counter.

              i don't buy the thai or vietnamese shrimp -- they taste less shrimpy and more medicinal to me. plus, the farming techniques are very unappealing.

              i am a shrimp snob, having grown up in s.w. florida. but the star ingredient in shrimp salad should be the best available.

              7 Replies
              1. re: alkapal

                Alkapal, do you have a favorite brand of frozen shrimp? The best I've had came from Stew Leonard's, but I don't live near one so can't shop there regularly. (My very patient boyfriend agreed to stop there on a drive home through CT.)

                1. re: herring

                  herring, i just look for the words "wild caught gulf shrimp" and check that it is a product of the USA. i haven't really paid attention to the brand name. next time i'm at the grocery, i'll take a look and post back.

                  1. re: alkapal

                    I stand with you, AP on buying wild-caught Gulf shrimp.

                    1. re: alkapal

                      herring, the brand i last bought from the giant grocery store was "wild seas," and it is in a predominantly blue bag in the frozen seafood section. look at the circular here: http://giantfood.shoplocal.com/giantf...

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Thanks! I don't live near a Giant, but will see if my local stores carry the Wild Seas brand (assuming it's an independent brand). I also just noticed on my last trip that Trader Joe's carries wild caught Gulf shrimp, so maybe I'll start there. Thanks again.

                  2. re: alkapal

                    Are those the same as Mexican White Shrimp? Our local newspaper claims those are the best, freshest & with best flavor.........

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Agree re wild shrimp. At my supermarket I can get Emeril's frozen wild caught American shrimp from Louisiana.

                    2. Might I suggest grilling, instead of boiling, your shrimp?

                      Adds a nice dimension to shrimp salad, no matter what recipe you end up using.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Once you've got your recipe down, try serving in boats made of hollowed-out ripe avocados. Wonderful texture combination.

                        1. re: pasuga

                          yes, the shrimp salad in an avocado boat is delicious. it's a very pretty presentation and the texture contrast is very appealing.


                      2. They're much more of a pain to peel, but I find 51/60 from the Gulf of Mexico are the best US shrimp for salad (or almost any dish other than peel 'n' eat). As alkapal says, they have tons more flavor -- and the smaller, the better. I've never had a frozen Extra Jumbo on up that was worth eating. Mealy and flavorless.

                        I think the real key in any seafood salad is simply to barely dress it. I particularly don't like lots of lemon, onion and celery in mine, though I do find a little bit of sweetness and even a dash of heat can be nice. A friend loves the Ina Garten recipe with onion, dill and TONS of celery. I think it's a huge waste of shrimp.

                        Whatever you do, don't buy the precooked and peeled ones. You might as well use packing peanuts. And although I confess there's something frightening delicious about the canned "baby" ones, those are only for yourself on nights when you don't have anything else in the house and won't be seen by anyone else.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: dmd_kc

                          If I'm just making shrimp salad, I like 71/90 size.

                        2. Ina recently did a roasted shrimp salad sandwich that is on my list to make soon - looked fantastic:

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: lexpatti

                            I love roasted shrimp, they are quick, easy and very tasty. I make an orzo salad with roasted shrimp, it may very well be an IG recipe.

                            1. re: lexpatti

                              interesting to combine orange and dill. i love how the recipe specifies "good mayonnaise." LOL. <no, ina, i'm gonna use my crummy mayo in this one!>

                              1. re: lexpatti

                                This is a nice recipe to use for ideas, customize or follow--but only to a point imo. Thats pretty heavy handed with the Mayo, and surprising being up East as she is. Though this dish isnt trying to achieve what a Lobster or Shrimp roll is like there which you barely use enough so it melts and hides with the seafood. Being from the Midwest, Im used to salads of tuna/chicken/seafood just packed with Mayo. Nasty. All the flavor of the protein and accent ingredients get way over powered with far too much dressing. I would suggest if trying to start with very little and try to get away with using as little as possible.

                                Same is true for the thread request on Shrimp applications,

                              2. Not sure what you mean by 'lost,' but I boil my shrimp with sliced lemons and coriander, which I found to be the flavor I was looking for (after inspecting recipes online). I think larger shrimp are a good idea ... I like the 'bite' of thicker shrimp in shrimp salad. Even if you don't leave the shrimp whole, the overall size still affects the dimension of the pieces.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: foiegras

                                  Thank you everyone for your advice, I will let you all know of results next time I make it.

                                2. slightly OT, but this recipe looked intriguing: artichoke and pickled shrimp with lemon aioli

                                  1. I seem to be odd gal out on this one, but here goes:
                                    The truth is all this mention of liquid mixed in with the subject of shrimp salad is bewildering to me. Shrimps only go to liquid when making Acapulco Style Shrimp Soup, or when tossed into the pasta pot with fresh peas during the final 2 mins of cooking - only to be drained and tossed with the heavy cream and peas just prior to some cracks from the pepper mill. Bliss!
                                    To add liquid to the shrimps for _salad_? I am at a complete loss here! When it is shrimp salad time here - and I refer to the type of salad for bread, not for avocado boats or lettuce cups - it's all about getting the excess moisture _out_, not letting more _in_ with the cooking method.
                                    I do this 2 ways, both are with peeled and cleaned shrimps:
                                    1. Just set them nice & neat on a broiler pan set and let them broil a couple of scant minutes - This method I've varied by lining the broiler's top portion, making a barrier between the metal and meat with chives (nice) / ham slices (bleh) / bacon (not a good idea) / marinating the raw oven-ready shrimps first was best (minced garlic & peppers with olive oil & vinegar + sugar, salt, pepper), but I think I'd eat a shoe soaked in that anyway! '-)
                                    2. This goes just as fast, but occupies your hands and time, so totally your call:
                                    Heat a seasoned skillet and drop the ready shrimps into it one handful at a time, chow them quickly - I truly believe that removes more moisture than "letting them sit a moment". You can tell it's time to remove them by the amount of steam produced falling off some - Do not wait until you've reduced them to hockey pucks, please '-)
                                    Once you have the relatively excess moisture-free shrimps, it's your call as to how to proceed. Anything from "simply shrimps" to a composed shrimp salad pyramid, served open-faced, of course - and either cool, or with broiled cheese over the top work just fine. While doing mases of the hot ones I learned to just leave the broiler going the whole time, toasting the points as I went, using cooling racks atop cookie sheets to get & keep both sides of the bread dry - Nice Tip! :-)
                                    NOTE: Every shrimp salad day means a shrimp soup day! Toss the heads & shells into a pot of boiling pureed tomatoes & stock to which you've minced a carrot & potato only. I've made this a bazillion times but don't have it written down... I think it's about 4 Roma to the blender (quart) with stock to cover well + a 1/4 med. yellow onion + salt to taste. Once the pot boils, add the shells & heads of shrimp. Bring back to a boil, then, reduce the heat and let it go a long time - until reduced by a third. Sometimes, I skim the foam, but it's OK if you don't, really. Once reduced, strain & discard solids, returning liquid to a rolling boil. When boiling, at once add all peeled shrimps (assuming you set some aside for this - or, if not skip this step), and wait 1 minute, if that. Then, toss in a handful of cilantro leaves, cut off the heat and stir the cilantro throughout. This is a spectacular shrimp soup from the working class folk of Acapulco. If desired, of course it may be enhanced with a few Scoville Units here & there, according to preferences of your palate '-)
                                    It's lovely to serve with the shrimp sandwiches - especially so when it's without shrimp! And, it makes a fine liquid for preparing rice, too! :-)
                                    Finally, if you're feeling adventurous: Grind the cooked shrimps, reserving some of the largest at 1 per small sandwich. Incorporate the ground shrimps into your favorite fat-based, well, _base_, for lack of a better word, add condiments at will and _pipe_ this along the perimeter of each round or point of toast, like a moat, placing 1 perfect shrimp dead center. Bliss! - topped, or open-faced (my preference) & always I prefer to use the 1" round cutter for each to be popped into the mouth whole - and the shrimps to "appear larger" '-)
                                    If you're in a mad dash to get this presented, line serving trays with tortilla rounds (Tostitos makes a tasty one). lay upon that a sliver of avocado + red onion + a top portion sprig of cilantro + julienne jalapenos lengthwise & add 1 strip + atop all place 1 shrimp and go after dripping lime-not-lemon juice on each for a very fast & easy assembly line style way to keep 'em cranking out the door with a twist on the bread base for flair - less cost, too!
                                    Please do share what you ultimately decide to do.

                                    44 Replies
                                    1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                      Thanks for some great ideas! I usually go for lobster salad, but you have inspired me.

                                      1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                        who is talking about putting liquid in shrimp salad (other than creating a dressing)?

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          The other posts, without any exceptions noted by me, refer to boiling the shrimps in various liquids. This, even if drained and patted dry after cooling & peeling leads to a wetter end product. Or, don't you agree?

                                          1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                            oh, definitely, i would say it is a *moister* end product.

                                            1. re: alkapal

                                              That's "who was talking about putting liquid in shrimp" (Shrimp into liquid, to be precise).
                                              My bent is toward avoiding the vehicle for the salad becoming soggy - which can happen fairly quickly, if there's not a physical barrier (lettuce leaf, etc ), or chemical barrier (smear of butter, etc ) between the dry bread/tortilla round, etc and shrimp salad.
                                              Nobody wants to get a mouthful of soggy ___. '-)

                                              1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                                i don't think judicious poaching puts liquid into shrimp (esp. since they are sea creatures, with shells); i think roasting takes liquid out.

                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                  With a very accurate scale, like used in major burn units to measure fluid in & out for patients, we could measure the results of each method. :-D
                                                  Are you a "visual learner"? Can you envision the meat submersed in the poaching liquid, osmosis doing its job all the while? Can you "see" how the meat will have an end loss of liquid by cooking under the broiler / in a dry skillet, as opposed to submersed in any liquid, at any temp., for any duration?
                                                  In my mind's eye I can "see" the water molecules scooting from the shrimps to the air - as steam - when under the broiler, or in the hot dry skillet. And, I can "see" the same water molecules going back and forth under the surface of the pan's liquid, eventually leading to a soggier base to the served salad on toast points, or rounds.
                                                  The key is: One method removes some moisture while the other does not, and (depending on the liquid used/duration used & temp used) may even add moisture to the shrimps.
                                                  My very best advice: marination followed by cooking under the broiler atop a 2-piece broiler pan, or in a dry hot skillet of peeled shrimps - reserving the peels for stock & allowing some considerable moisture escape through steam while cooking, rather than immersing them at any point into any liquid prior to salad preparation & service.
                                                  Just my preferences - not carved into stone and to be obeyed under penalty of an Iron Chef competition or anything '-)

                                                  1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                                    Do you have a scientific basis for this or just your "mind's eye"? When I soak in a hot tub, am I taking the dirty bath water into my skin? If I lie on a beach in the sun, am I dehydrating? I'm sorry but I just can't get my brain wrapped around any of what you're saying on this subject. If you do have a scientific citation for this, I'd love to read it. It just goes against what seems correct, IMO.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      If you lie in the sun, you are indeed dehydrating yourself. Just ask EMTs in a beach area!

                                                      1. re: mojoeater

                                                        Exactly! And a peeled shrimp under a broiler is like someone on the beach with no sunscreen. THAT doesn't take rocket science to figure out :)

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          Yes! Great analogy! The shrimps are dehydrating a bit, like us on a beach (the sun being our broiling flame)!
                                                          Not too much though - just right - and I use the ubber long bamboo "tongs" to flip them - I don't close the oven door - this is a _fast_ process, but a drying one, relative to any involving liquid, as also is the other way - my 2nd fave because it makes me stand there with my hands busy, focused on-task, unable to multi-task until they're out of the skillet (and also prepared to yield an un-soggy mound of shrimp salad on toast points or rounds. Yes!

                                              2. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                                Who wants dry shrimp? I think most people prefer juicy shrimp, even in salad.

                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                  The shrimp's succulent, that's to be sure ~ But, the moisture evaporating during the cooking process helps the bread base keep from collecting juice from the instant it lands until the final one's gobbled ~ '-)
                                                  The important part of the subject here for this part, to me, was "sandwich" ~ I think we all agree: No soggy bread ~ A dry heat helps evaporate moisture while not overcooking (regardless of method), it goes without saying (I think), lends a satisfying succulence once in the mouth. The fine line's between shooing that extra moisture & turning shrimp to lumps of Pla-Doh '-)
                                                  It is a fine line, but do it enough and, like all else, it's 2nd nature ~ The most important part, to me, is: Pay attention! All it takes is, literally, _seconds_ to go from sublime to "get me a fresh batch - now!" '-)
                                                  Mmmmmmmm... and I'll close this comment with the wonders of truly dried shrimps. Yummers! Out here they're available both in bulk & as pre-bagged snacks to just grab, like a bag of chips, or nuts, and go! Really. I'd never seen them until coming to California.
                                                  During Lent, they make the most intensely "shrimpy" dumplings (ground to a powder) - Oh, and they're also available dried and pre-ground, almost like a shrimp meal...
                                                  Yes, there is a wide array of folk enjoying dried shrimps in many forms, but the shrimp for the salad is not dry in any mouth-perceiving way - 'cept the absence of perceiving soggy base to the shrimp sandwich.
                                                  And though I may be known as a slob for it, I will confess: last week I sat at table with a pound of steamed shrimp, a couple of halved limes, a sour dough soup bowl that was never to be and 2 of 5 or 6 "new" condiments, blissfully "taste-testing" my way through "dinner" ~ I'd call _that_ one mighty fine deconstructed shrimp sandwich! '-) My 12.5 year-old sat with me, her own pound before her, preferring just lime juice after a cursory sample of the 2 condiments I tried - I wish they were handy - I'd share the names - 1 passed (white), 1 failed (red)... Maybe another time... I am _very much_ enjoying the _passion for food_ found at CHOW & am glad to be here.

                                              3. re: alkapal

                                                I loved Susanna's post until I got to "or with broiled cheese over the top work just fine"
                                                Everything else sounds great

                                                1. re: laliz

                                                  LOL! I feel your pain - and live it all too often! '-)
                                                  But, "the customer's _always_ "right"...
                                                  I honestly can't think of anything but some shrimps, chokes, cheese & breadcrumbs (with the shrimps instead of lump crab, for cost-savings) right now, that "work well together", but you'd be (maybe?) surprised how many people want mini shrimp quesadillas (cringe with me here '-) And, how many people think it's A-OK to serve up shrimpies with cubes of cheddar on a sandwich pick with frills... "Fancy", dontcha know? '-) LOL!
                                                  I am to _please_ - and when possible, to be allowed to have suggestions accepted ~ It _is_ possible to even come in _under_ budget while sky-rocketing the menu from "what's asked for" to what's agreed upon" '-) (The very most stressful part of any event, for me, is that negotiation above all others - I'm always so tense inside, "Please, let them go with this... PLEASE, let them go with this..."
                                                  Ultimately, it's _their_ event, but _my_ rep. ~

                                              4. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                                I've been doing some reading about broiling vs. poaching shrimp. I think perhaps, somewhere along the way, you may have gotten things reversed. According to Cooks Illustrated, it's VERY difficult to broil shrimp without drying them out. And if broiled, it should ONLY be done with the shells ON in order to protect them somewhat from the drying heat. Also if broiling, it's best to brine the shrimp first to get some moisture in them. For cooking in liquid they say "...it is best to peel them first. The exterior of shrimp cooked in liquid are not as prone to drying out, and the shells can be simmered in the liquid to increase its flavor." Just an fyi.

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  I roast with the shells on, much more flavor that way. Actullay I have taken to cooking any shrimp with the shells on, thay have so much more flavor, just like any protein with bones.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    My experience, in my limited travels, would be counter to peeling before boiling. Tell that to Mainer's and Nawlin's people!
                                                    No disrespect intended, but is it just (only) sound economics to sell "peel your own" in restaurants? Friends have not peeled them for me when they fed me.
                                                    I don't think I'd want to be eating a shrimp salad and peeling the shrimp at the same time. Ick!

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      C. Oliver~
                                                      Heaven forbid I should die without knowing all there is to know about food! You've piqued my curiosity and I, too, have been doing some reading. So far, there's this - (found on the 3rd site scanned in search of a citation for you) - countering your quoted text (from above & cited here for ease of reference):

                                                      "Also if broiling, it's best to brine the shrimp first to get some moisture in them."

                                                      Salt-Leaching or Brining Shrimp
                                                      This technique is used to increase the crunchy texture of shrimp by leaching out some of the shrimp's surface moisture, it also boosts flavor.

                                                      Dissolve 1 TBS Kosher or sea salt and 1 tsp sugar (sugar optional) in 2 cups of water, add ice to chill, add shrimp and soak - 30 minutes for peeled shrimp and up to 60 minutes for shell-on shrimp. Drain, rinse and dry. Great for frying, stir-frying or grilling.
                                                      SOURCE: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/food/...

                                                      The quest continued!

                                                      Brining Shrimp: When learning how to cook shrimp this technique is used to increase the crispiness and flavor of shrimp by leaching out some of the shrimp's surface moisture. Depending upon taste and size of shrimp we recommend the ratio of 1 cup of sea salt to 2 cups of water. Cover shrimp for 30 to 60 minutes. Drain, rinse and dry. Grill or fry shrimp only.
                                                      SOURCE #2: http://www.eaglewoodgourmetfood.com/h...

                                                      Here's another CHOW thread on shrimp (cocktail) preparations:

                                                      Here's a sentence that "agrees" with my assertation cooking shrimps in dry hot skillet "pulls moisture from them", unlike any undry cooking techniques (I'll point it out with _underscores_:


                                                      These cooking methods are very different, but many of the same seasoning can be used in any method. The shrimp don’t have to be shelled before cooking, but they are usually easier to eat if they are. __When sautéing, don’t cook too many shrimp at a time, because the moisture from the shrimp can end up steaming the shrimp.__

                                                      One of the easiest and a very tasty way of cooking these shrimp is with a simple butter (or margarine) and garlic combination. Brown the garlic first in a stick of butter. Set the garlic/butter aside. Use enough of the butter mixture to coat each batch of shrimp well during cooking. Try adding a couple of shakes of basil and/or cayenne to enhance the flavor. A squeeze of lemon or lime adds a great tangy flavor.

                                                      Shrimp can be marinated an hour or two in any number of flavored sauces before cooking. A simple, but tasty marinade can be made with 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1/2 lime or lemon, 1 or 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Add several shakes of cayenne for some added jolt.
                                                      SOURCE: http://www.greeneprairieaquafarm.com/...

                                                      I have provided a synopsis of our dialogue to the following entity together with a request they supply us with their expert conclusion:

                                                      Whew! And _this_ is what I do to _unwind!_ lol '-


                                                      EDIT: There's this handy page, too:

                                                      1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                                        Oh, golly, I am so sorry that I didn't clarify what I meant by "citation." I was asking for a scientific explanation for all that osmosis, molecule stuff. As far as cooks go, I think I'll stick with CI, Julia, Jacques and the like. I apologize that I caused you all that work for nothing.

                                                        1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                                          I occasionally like grilled shrimp, they don't taste dried out to me, just different. Maybe even concentrated. I'd make salad with them if I had some left over (which I usually don't).

                                                          1. re: coll

                                                            i won't refuse nicely done tandoori shrimp! ;-)).

                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                              I can't say as I recall even ever encountering an offering of tandoori shrimps ~ You've given me something to quest toward! Thanks! :-)

                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                  Wish I could get my husband on board with Indian and Pakistani food, he loves spicy but not like that. I've been making something for myself almost weekly, and I think this might be up next.

                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                    it is not spicy -- just savory. no heat.

                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                      Even better, at least for me. Like Aloo Gobi?

                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                        uh, yeah, savory, but,,,, the tandoori shrimp is a mile away from the flavors of aloo gobi

                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                          Guess I'll have to make it myself and see, thanks. Still in the learning stages of this cuisine.

                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                Additionally, do you know if it's acceptable to BYO items for the tandoori? I'm game for a batch of prawns at a place I know '-)
                                                                I wouldn't want to commit a cultural faux pas though...

                                                              2. re: coll

                                                                But don't you leave the shells on? I've done collosal shrimp butterflied, shell down on the grill but wouldn't dream of of peeling them. And if there were leftovers, I'd make salad of them but it wouldn't be how I would prepare them just FOR salad.

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  Shells on or off, they grill in less than a minute so no big deal. Salad only with leftovers, as I said, I like to eat them plain with maybe some wasabi type dip.

                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                    YES! That was the "special ingredient" in the white of the (2) we sampled here the other night: wasabi and it was spectacular with the shrimps!

                                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                                    I never grill with the shells on ~ it defeats the purpose of drying them a touch.
                                                                    When shrimps are grilled with their shells on they are being steamed.

                                                                  3. re: coll

                                                                    Coll ~ I like your perceptive palate! :-)
                                                                    It is a touch concentrated!
                                                                    Well done!

                                                                    1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                                                      I like shrimp so much (as do my cats) that I have to find many different ways to serve it. Can't always just eat shrimp cocktail!

                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                        Tomorrow, I'm grabbing some organic carrots (Now that I see I'm out, again!) & making a broth of the shells, then, adding nicely uniform cubes of potato & carrot to that with pureed tomato I've introduced all alone into the _very_ hot pot and chowed around for maybe 30 seconds, or so, (I may use a box of Muir Glen Organics - they're _so good!_). I _like_ the sizzle of the broth returning to the pot + the "better flavor" I think the potatoes & carrots get from cooking in the shrimp shell broth, (as opposed to cooking with the shells as the broth is rendered). I really think it makes a difference - and not just in "total cooking time" either '-)
                                                                        Once the veggies are just done al dente, I'll pop the shrimps in - sometimes, but not always, I'll skim out the veggies and let the shrimps go it alone in the pot - the better to catch them floating and snag them out of the pot.
                                                                        Once "soup's on", I'll plate it and offer lime + minced onion & cilantro leaves only.
                                                                        The original way is to stir cilantro in at the very end, but I've taken to stripping the leaves for the table & tying the stems to add to the pot with the first shrimps ~ Then, I pick out the bundle of stems & toss it. I like the way that works out! :-)

                                                                        This summer I plan to try a turn on gazpacho with this as the base & cubed seeded cucumbers + frozen sweet peas tossed in to the room temp, or chilled broth, alternately, I'll use cubed avocados. I don't know what I'll do with the carrots & potatoes then - maybe puree, but more likely I'll set them aside for "tacos dorados", smashed together. I envision the cold / cool soup with only shrimps, cukes & avocado ( or must-be-frozen) sweet peas floating in it. But, that's just me. '-)
                                                                        Just a couple of other ways to try shrimps for you '-)

                                                                        1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                                                          "let the shrimps go it alone in the pot - the better to catch them floating and snag them out of the pot."

                                                                          I think I might be seeing why your shrimp are soggy. If that's the technique you use, it is likely the culprit. Once the liquid has come to a boil, I put the shrimp in, cover, turn off the heat and after 3-4 minutes they're done. If you're actively cooking them rather than letting them steep briefly, I think that's a real problem.

                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                            Whatever floats your boat ... er... shrimps! lol!
                                                                            Never issues with "soggy shrimps" on this end either :-)
                                                                            Probably because I snag them as they rise and don't wait for the whole pot to be "ready" for the next step as a "batch".
                                                                            Just goes to show: There's more than one way to perfect a dish! :-)
                                                                            To each their own. :-)

                                                                  4. re: c oliver

                                                                    More like "dissertation"........lol.....

                                                                  5. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                                                    Here is the response, just in - Please note the contact information at the end and direct any further queries there:

                                                                    Hello Susana,

                                                                    I am one of the research and development culinarians at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services, and have been buying, preparing and consuming seafood for over 35 years. The answer below comes from my experiences.

                                                                    First, I can not think of a creditable reason for brining shrimp. This almost perfect food needs to have as little done to as is possible, that includes handling it. Shrimp will be perfectly done as soon as it becomes opaque throughout and will lose taste and texture when cooked beyond that point. (It will continue cooking for about a minute when removed from the heat). At this point the moisture in the shrimp is where it should be and to most palates, a desirable texture. Anymore cooking will cause moisture and texture loss, no matter what cooking method is used.

                                                                    It is possible to broil shrimp but there will be, as you discovered, some drying on the outside. Some recipes want to have the browning result of broiling and grilling and compensate with sauces, salsa, etc., so the loss is not as noticeable. This is a personal choice and with practice a good dish can be achieved. If you broil shrimp with the shell on you will be actually steaming them unless they are broiled to the point of the shell burning, then you will be ruining them.

                                                                    Cooking shrimp in liquid with the shells on does give the liquid more flavor, but keeps flavor away from the shrimp meat. Cooking shrimp in liquid without the shell will not help the shrimp retain liquid. It will still be done when opaque and, once again, will loose moisture and texture if cooked any longer. You can overcook shrimp in liquid, shell on or off. The most important thing to remember when cooking shrimp is to not overcook them, and with practice anyone can achieve perfect shrimp.

                                                                    So, to answer your last question I suggest simmering one pound of shrimp in a quart of water with your favorite seasoning until opaque. Spread them out on a plate and let the moisture dry by itself. This can be done shell on or off. Shell off shrimp will cook in about half the time.

                                                                    Now, all this is assuming that you have purchased shrimp that have been harvested handled and processed correctly. There is a factor of misguided integrity in all sectors of the food business. The best advice here is that you know your supplier and trust her sources. Oh yes, keep the salad but lose the toast points. Good Luck!


                                                                    Tom Thomas

                                                                    Development Representative

                                                                    Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

                                                                    Charles H. Bronson Commissioner

                                                                    407 South Calhoun

                                                                    Mayo Building, Room 422

                                                                    Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0800


                                                                    850.488.7127 fax

                                                                    1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                                                      I hope this post from a 35+ expert in the area of discussion here is of assistance to NormalHeightsFoodie & any others seeking to prepare the very best meal possible with shrimps.
                                                                      Warmly, Susana