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Shrimp

Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the U.S., representing more than a quarter of the seafood that America eats in a year. But, sometimes, it's incredible variety can make it an intimidating ingredient to buy. You can find dozens of species, different sizes, preparations that are deveined or not, pre-cooked options and more. And that's not even delving into the confusion surrounding prawns versus shrimp. If you're looking to explore the world of shrimp, Food & Wine's guide will teach you about all the delicious ways to prepare it.

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Shrimp Toast

In this Night + Market dish by Kris Yenbamroong, blending fresh shrimp with pork fat creates a juicy, tender paste to spread on springy milk bread. Pork fat, from the back or belly (not rendered, like lard), can be easily chopped after freezing until quite firm, about 20 minutes.

Thai-Style Shrimp Cocktail

Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market invites a quick garlic aioli and super spicy fish sauce–based dipping sauce to the shrimp cocktail party. Using a fork to crush the garlic for the aioli leaves it sweeter and less pungent while still breaking down the fibrous cloves for a creamy dipping sauce. Serve the shrimp alongside ramekins of aioli and nam jim seafood sauce for dipping, or arrange the shrimp around the rim of a coupe glass filled with nam jim for more intense flavor.

Grilled Gulf Shrimp with Sweet Corn Coulis

Tender, juicy sweet peas and yellow corn kernels make for a light and refreshing salad atop a silky, creamy corn coulis in this easy-to-double recipe by Meg Bickford of Commander's Palace in New Orleans. Tangy sour cream and buttermilk balance the natural sweetness of the vegetables and Gulf shrimp. Corn may be sweeter or starchier depending on the season—adjust to taste with up to a teaspoon of sugar, if desired.

Coconut-Curried Shrimp with Bara

Light, airy, and slightly sweet, the fried bara is perfect for sopping up this spicy shrimp curry. A quick Scotch bonnet hot sauce is intense on its own, but drizzled sparingly over the curry it adds the perfect punch of heat and acidity.

Red Shrimp Snacking Tamales

Each two-bite, egg-shaped tamal cradles a shrimp encased in masa seasoned with chiles, garlic, and dried shrimp. At her holiday tamal-making parties, Paola Briseño González likes to make these ahead of time, for snacking on while drinking Guava Ponche with Sweet Vermouth and making main-course tamales with friends.

Why You Should Never Toss Your Shrimp Shells

Homemade shrimp stock only takes about five minutes (and two ingredients) to prepare, but it's a powerful flavor-boosting ingredient that will keep you from ever tossing your shrimp shells again.
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More Shrimp

Kwame’s Pepper Shrimp

Infused with layers of heat from Scotch bonnet chiles and fresh ginger, Kwame Onwuachi’s pepper shrimp are inspired by a beloved Jamaican street food. Deveining the shrimp but leaving the shell on helps protect against overcooking. Onwuachi fell in love with this recipe when traveling in Jamaica.

Spicy Peel-and-Eat Skillet Shrimp with Garlic

Shell-on shrimp are essential for this recipe; the shells help insulate the delicate shrimp from the heat of the grill so they cook evenly without becoming tough. Give each raw shrimp a quick snip with a pair of scissors along the back for vein removal and easy shelling at the table; you can also look for wild American shrimp marked “EZ Peel,” or ask your fishmonger to tackle the task. In lieu of grilling, the shrimp may be cooked in a skillet over high heat in a well-ventilated kitchen.