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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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.

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.

Gullah Shrimp Burgers

These two-bite wonders, from Johnson’s cookbook Between Harlem and Heaven, hail directly from the history in South Carolina and Gullah cuisine. As Johnson writes, “The Lowcountry Gullah islands (located on the coast of South Carolina) offer a legacy of Africa and the Caribbean on the doorstep of the American South, and their culinary and social richness can’t be captured in any one thing. Which is why instead of trying that, we take inspiration from their cuisine and fly off to Asia.”

More Shrimp

This Is the Right Way To Peel Shrimp

We make peeling and deveining shrimp easier in four simple steps.

Shrimp-and-Okra Kebabs with Grilled Peaches and Jalapeño-Bourbon Vinaigrette

A splash of bourbon in the vinaigrette adds a sweet, boozy kick of flavor and helps tenderize the shrimp in 2008 BNC chef Sue Zemanick’s shrimp and okra kebabs. Cutting okra in half lengthwise keeps it big enough to skewer and get charred and crispy on the grill, without falling through the grates. Chef Zemanick recommends salting the okra and cooking at a high heat for the best texture. “Everything about this dish screams summer to me,” Zemanick says. “Being able to cook with ingredients that are in season simultaneously helps to ensure a delicious dish. Although I truly believe fresh is best, feel free to save time by buying peeled fresh or frozen shrimp.”

Chile-Glazed Shrimp with Herbs and Rice Noodles

Slowly grilling head-on shrimp while basting with a garlic- and chile-infused nuoc cham yields tender, juicy shrimp in this recipe from Hong Tran, of the restaurant Hai San Ba Cuong in Da Nang, Vietnam. Served as a main course on a salad of rice noodles and herbs, they are also fun as an appetizer served with Salt-and-Pepper Limes for squeezing. Vietnam has excellent shrimp in a dozen sizes, and this recipe accentuates their sweetness and tender texture. For the best approximation of Vietnamese shrimp, look for Gulf shrimp, which are large and tender.