I have to be honest here. The majority of the people right now are eating bad shrimp whenever they are grilling them. And that is not because of any fault of their own. They are not bad cooks, or eating at restaurants that are serving bad shrimp on purpose, but because they do not know how to buy the best shrimp they can.
Shrimp that is fresh and delicious is what we call the best shrimp. And the opposite of that is bad or low-quality shrimp.
Most of us are used to expecting the shrimp to smell like fish and have that textured stuff that tastes like fish.
Why is that?
Because we think that’s how they are supposed to be. Because we have been eating shrimp that smells and tastes like that for a long time. And that has become the new normal. But there are ways to get better shrimp the next time you walk into a supermarket or order them online.
What’s the Difference Between Frozen and Fresh
Most people would assume that frozen and fresh go hand in hand, but it all depends on the context.
The shrimp you see in the frozen food section of your grocery store is exactly what it says – frozen. Most likely, when the fishermen caught the shrimp and brought it onto their boats, they immediately threw them in ice and frozen them as soon as possible. This means the shrimp didn’t get a lot of time to get any less fresh once they were out of the water.
Frozen shrimp are the best shrimp that you can buy for grilling or cooking any type of dish because you will get that shrimp-y flavor that you love so much.
“Fresh” on the other hand means something different. In fact, you should be questioning whether fresh shrimp is actually as fresh as they say it is.
Just like frozen shrimp, fresh shrimp have been most likely gone through the instant freezing process but they were thawed at the fish counter and stacked on ice for you to buy.
This means that the longer they stay on the ice and no one buys them, the less fresh they get by the hour.
So, unless you know someone at that fish counter and know for sure that that batch of shrimp has come off the boat a couple of hours before you got there, you should stick with frozen shrimp. They are your best bet at getting the freshest and most delicious shrimp.
Another thing you should look out for is the smell. You can use this tip for any seafood that you buy. If it smells like ammonia then you shouldn’t buy it. It is one of the easiest ways to know whether or not that shrimp or any seafood for that matter has gone bad.
Also for shrimp, if their shell feels slimy or soft, you shouldn’t go for them either.
Remember, if you are ever in doubt about whether or not the shrimp are fresh or not, you should just head on over to the frozen foods section at your local supermarket. The chances of you getting the best shrimp for grilling or cooking any dish is much higher. In fact, you will almost always find the kind of shrimp you’ve been looking for.
Frozen shrimp will look better, cook better, and most importantly, it will taste better.
But Which Breed of Shrimp Is Best For Cooking?
The short answer is – any wild-caught shrimp is best cooking and grilling. I love the wild-caught Alaskan shrimp or the wild-caught Mexican Jumbo shrimp.
Because these wild-caught shrimp taste much better than their farmed counterparts. I’m not sure why that it but the taste is different enough for it to be noticeable.
If I were to put it in words, then I’d say that the wild-caught shrimp taste much more cleaner and sharper.
Now, if you don’t have access to wild-caught shrimp, then the next best thing you can go for is shrimp that is farmed but the farmers raise them sustainably and responsibly. And you don’t have to do any special detective work to know that either.
All you need to do is just spend an extra 10-20 seconds reading the package because most companies/farmers will advertise if they are raising their shrimp responsibly. If they are not, then they won’t say so on the package.