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Old 02-04-2011, 12:15 AM   #1
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Shrimp in shell

I read that shrimp are better tasting if cooked in their shells ,is there anything to this?

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Old 02-04-2011, 06:34 AM   #2
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Along a similar line, I heard that the dish picked up more flavor if the shrimp were left in their shells when added and cooked. I prefer peeling them ahead though, so everything is ready to eat and less messy
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:39 AM   #3
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In Thailand they eat the shells. I can't do it, but my husband does.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:50 AM   #4
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In general ....yes! ~~ I "boil" shrimp in shell and with heads on. Also "BBQ" shrimp in shell with heads on. (Which has nothing to do with BBQ.) ~~ Most recipes call for peeled shrimp ~~ A stock can be made using shells and heads that add flavor to a recipe...or can be frozen for later use. HTH
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:33 AM   #5
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I've heard that there is alot of flavor in the heads, is it the pancrease or hepta pancre......or what ever it is. It's similar to crawfish and "suck'n the head", which IS very good.

The shell adds flavor and also can protect the meat from over cook'n, like on a grill/smoker.

Another idea is to peel the shrimp but throw the shells in w/the shrimp and just take out when the dish is ready.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:54 AM   #6
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I prefer them steamed in the shell. Some folks don't like the idea of eating the "vien" in peel & eat.

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Old 02-04-2011, 08:20 AM   #7
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While cooking in the shell may impart more flavor, there are circumstances where I don't want shrimp served to me in the shell or even with the tail piece attached. If I'm eating a pasta dish with shrimp, my fingers shouldn't have to get involved with the shrimp. There are more informal occasions when I don't mind eating with my fingers. Then it's OK.
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
While cooking in the shell may impart more flavor, there are circumstances where I don't want shrimp served to me in the shell or even with the tail piece attached. If I'm eating a pasta dish with shrimp, my fingers shouldn't have to get involved with the shrimp. There are more informal occasions when I don't mind eating with my fingers. Then it's OK.
True story: Years ago when I was living in Atlanta, I was dining at my favorite super-posh Italian restaurant (a place that looks like something right out of The Godfather). We were with a large group of my girlfriends celebrating someone's birthday, and our waiter Tony was having fun entertaining us.

I ordered the shrimp scampi, and having good Southern ladylike table manners didn't want to fish around in my pasta with my fingers to remove the tails. So I struggled with my knife and fork to gingerly remove the tail, when my shrimp suddenly broke free, slipped through the buttery sauce and flew across the table. Tony was watching all of this, highly amused, then stepped in to assist me before I (in his words) "hurt someone". He then taught me a technique that I use to this day.

Take the flat side of the dinner knife (the one without the teeth of course) and press it into the joint of the tailfin and the tail. Then stab the meat with your fork, pull gently and....voila.
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:23 AM   #9
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...Take the flat side of the dinner knife (the one without the teeth of course) and press it into the joint of the tailfin and the tail. Then stab the meat with your fork, pull gently and....voila.

Your experience demonstrates why the tails should have been removed. That there is an easier way to get the tails off doesn't make it OK in my mind.

Your dinner guest shouldn't have to work to eat their meal. That work belongs in the kitchen.
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:52 AM   #10
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Your experience demonstrates why the tails should have been removed. That there is an easier way to get the tails off doesn't make it OK in my mind.

Your dinner guest shouldn't have to work to eat their meal. That work belongs in the kitchen.
I guess we should never invite folks over for steamed crabs or a crawfish boil then? Pickin and peelin are all part of the fun. A couple cases of iced down Abita beer and Laissez les bon temps rouler!

I agree that certain meals should not have your guest working. I was just funnin ya.

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Old 02-04-2011, 01:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC

I guess we should never invite folks over for steamed crabs or a crawfish boil then? Pickin and peelin are all part of the fun. A couple cases of iced down Abita beer and Laissez les bon temps rouler!

I agree that certain meals should not have your guest working. I was just funnin ya.

Craig
I agree- my bf and I ate peel and eat shrimp at bubba gump's and it was so fun! :) These had a slit in the shell and I believe were de-veined. Is it difficult to do this?
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:25 PM   #12
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They are better cooked in the shell for the same reason its better to roast meat on the bone. The shells contain gelatin which is loaded with flavor. They also contain a chemical called chitosan which is believed to help lower cholesterol and fight obesity. Cooking the shells long enough (about 15 minutes) is enough time to cook out all the goodies.....but overcooked shrimp are rubbery. If you are making gumbo or something clean the shrimp of its shell and wrap it in a cheesecloth during the simmer process. Add the shrimp in at the very end as they will cook in just a few minutes!

To skittle: They make a shrimp knife that peels and de-veins a shrimp with one fell swoop. (the head must be removed first)
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:47 PM   #13
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I've heard of this too. If you keep them in the shell, they are much easier to grill. The juices stay inside and you have little problems with them sticking to the grill.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:20 PM   #14
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I guess we should never invite folks over for steamed crabs or a crawfish boil then? Pickin and peelin are all part of the fun. A couple cases of iced down Abita beer and Laissez les bon temps rouler!

I agree that certain meals should not have your guest working. I was just funnin ya.

Craig
If I were planning to eat crabs or crawfish (ick) I would expect to shell and peel. Scampi and Alfredo should have the shrimp shelled. Had to peel my shirmp Alfredo one time in a restaraunt - very messy. Actually took the fun out of eating it.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:57 AM   #15
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The shells absolutely add a lot of flavor. If you wanted to make a shrimp stock you just need to boil the shrimp shells and you have a very flavorful stock.

I agree with Andy that there are times when flavor should be sacrificed for ease of eating. I do not want to be in a nice restaurant or at a nice affair dressed in good clothes trying to negotiate getting shrimp covered in sauce out of the shell. As much as I love shrimp, I skip shrimp in the shell if I am in that sort of situation.

A compromise that one of the restaurants I frequent uses is that they peel the shell off mostly, but leave the tail and last little bit of shell on. I can then use my form and knife to easily cut the tail piece off. I loose a little bit of the shrimp that way, but I remain clean and the shrimp do not go flying all over the place. I am not sure how much flavor that little bit of shell actually adds though.
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:06 AM   #16
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...A compromise that one of the restaurants I frequent uses is that they peel the shell off mostly, but leave the tail and last little bit of shell on. I can then use my form and knife to easily cut the tail piece off. I loose a little bit of the shrimp that way, but I remain clean and the shrimp do not go flying all over the place. I am not sure how much flavor that little bit of shell actually adds though.

That's a decision the kitchen makes for presentation over accommodating the customer's comfort. I see no real benefit (other than appearance) to cooking shrimp with that little bit of shell on.
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