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Nov 11, 2010 10:03 AM

Head-On Shrimp in North Baltimore

I need to get a few pounds of whole, head-on shrimp so I can make a good seafood stock for gumbo. Any suggestions as to where to find such a product in Baltimore, ideally toward the Towson area? Conrads doesn't carry it and neither does Whole Foods. Bonus points if the place also sells live crabs. Please help and thanks!

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  1. Nowhere close to Towson, but I get them at HMart. Never bought the crabs there though. It's a drive, but you can get all kinds of great stuff there besides seafood.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JonParker

      JP, it's not the distance that kills me, it's that I'm incapable of walking out of H-Mart without spending at least $100. The produce, especially things I have no idea what they are, they call my name. It's through my H-Mart addiction that I know Dragonfruit is really cool looking, expensive, and doesn't have much in the way of taste. I know that if I schelp out to Catonsville tonight, not only will I get the shrimp and crabs, but I'll also have persimmons, ginko nuts, white sweet potatoes, coconut milk, mochi, the rough scrubby washcloth, etc.

      But as always, you give good, thoughtful advice.

      800 N Rolling Rd, Catonsville, MD

    2. I have made seafood stock plenty of times with just the shrimp shells -- the heads are not essential to the process.

      1. Can't help with head-on shrimp, but a trick I learned from a Creole cook was to add a whole package of little dried shrimp (like you can get at Asian and Hispanic markets) to the pot. They'll melt with the long cooking and add shrimp intensity.

        Dried shrimp you should be able to get at the asian market on York Rd.

        2 Replies
        1. re: zebcook

          What an interesting idea! I will definitely try the shrimp shells and dried shrimp option next time.

          I ended up getting 2 pounds of shrimp and a dozen small female crabs from Conrads last night. Boiled the shrimp shells and crabs (picked out the lump meat, gills and the innards) for 2 hours. The stock, while very rich with seafood taste, unfortunately also has a bitter aftertaste. I'm going to use it anyway and hope for the best. Thanks for the feedback!

          1. re: ILoveBacon

            Don't boil seafood stock for a long time. As you found, it get off tastes

        2. Shrimp with heads can often be obtained from Asian markets. Heads are helpful for Seafood stock but they are essential for Shrimp Creole.