Also known as:

There are thousands of varieties of shrimp. They can be divided into four major categories: Warm Water (white shrimp, Mexican whites, brown shrimp, northern browns, Chinese whites, blue shrimp, Ecuadorian, Mexican white, white leg, black tiger), Cold Water (Northern pink, popcorn shrimp, giant spot, prawns, Alaska spot, rock shrimp), Freshwater (giant river prawn, spiny-clawed prawn, Hawaiian blue prawn), and Sand shrimp (brown shrimp, gray shrimp, bay shrimp).


Waters: Tropical/Warm water shrimp are, not surprisingly, found in warmer waters, primarily the Atlantic waters off the Carolinas, Florida, Texas (particularly Gulf of Mexico browns), and in the Gulf of Mexico. Chinese whites are found in waters near China. Shrimp are now farmed the world over and come to the U.S. from countries as diverse as Indonesia, Taiwan, and Ecuador. Shrimp also grow wild from Japan to East Africa. Cold Water shrimp are found in northern waters anywhere from Alaska and Canada on the Western coast to Cape Cod clears to Greenland and across to Norway on the East coast. Rock shrimp are also found off the coast of Florida. Freshwater shrimp are usually caught and sold locally one major exception to this is the giant river "prawn" which is found wild in Malaysia but now farmed around the world. Sand shrimp are more popular in Europe but some varieties are found on the California coast.

Shrimp range in color from red to pink, brown to white, green to gray. They also range in size from less than an inch in length to as much as 13 inches long (the Black tiger).

Shrimp range in color but are usually brown, grey, or blue-tinged when raw, and pink and white when cooked. Shrimp meat is firm and delicately flavored.

Best Cooking:

Shrimp can be cooked in any number of ways: broiled, grilled, boiled, pan fried, and breaded and deep fried. Shrimp can also be added to all kinds of dishes including sautes, soups, pastas, and stews. Shrimp cocktail, where shrimp are boiled for approximately 5-7 minutes and then chilled and served with a dipping sauce, is a popular way to enjoy this tasty seafood.

Buying Tips:

Buy your shrimp fresh if you can get them that way, or properly frozen and thawed (lest the shrimp become mushy). They should smell of the ocean and not of ammonia. Watch out for black spots on your shrimp if you buy them fresh. They indicate the beginnings of deterioration and tell you that your fishmonger has been letting his/her fish, whether previously frozen or not, sit out for too long.

Nutrition Value:

Shrimp, 3 oz. (85g) (cooked, moist heat)
Calories: 84
Protein: 17.7g
Carbohydrate: 0.0g
Total Fat: 0.92g
Fiber: 0.0g
Excellent source* of: Selenium (33.7mcg), and Vitamin B12 (1.3mcg)

When cooked (moist heat), shrimp (mixed species) provides 0.327 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, derived from EPA** (0.171g), DHA*** (0.144g), and ALA**** (0.012g), per 100 grams of shrimp (mixed species).

*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.
**EPA - Eicosapentaenoic Acid
***DHA - Docosahexaenoic Acid
****ALA - Alpha Lipoic Acid

Substitutes for Shrimp:

Lobster, scallops, tuna chunks, crawfish tails.


In the USA, people commonly call large shrimp "prawns", but that's not correct because some prawns can be smaller than shrimp. Some people think shrimp are saltwater and prawns are freshwater. That's not correct either.
    This is the difference:
  • The structure of the gills is different between shrimp and prawns. If you turn a shrimp over and look at its "belly", the side plate of the second segment of the abdomen overlaps the segments in the front and behind. If you do the same to a prawn, all of the abdominal side plates overlap like tiles from the front.
  • Shrimp "brood" their eggs like a chicken (the eggs are held in their swimming legs. Prawns don't brood - They just shed their eggs into the current.

Shrimp recipes

Print Article about Shrimp   Print Article

Free Fish & Seafood Recipes

^ Back to Top