Shrimps - a healhy marine snack. Why is it worth eating them?
Shrimps are the best-known and much-loved seafood. They owe their popularity, especially with those who live a healthy lifestyle, not only to delicate and delicious meat but also high nutritional value and low saturated fat content (0,8 g per 100 g of meat) and low calorific value - 100 g of these crustaceans amount to approximately 86 calories. They are a rich source of well-tolerated proteins, B vitamins and valuable mineral elements. Moreover they are easily digestible and known for their aphrodisiac properties.
High value and easily tolerated proteins contained in shrimps (content in 100 g of the product amounts up to 18,1 g), are characterised by high digestibility and positive amino acid composition. Shrimps can replace meat doubtlessly. They are a good source of essential fatty acids - so-called omega-3 acids, selenium, iodine, magnesium, potassium and fluorine. You can also find a small amount of iron, magnesium and zinc.
Selenium is a strong antioxidant, strengthens your immune system, protects your heart and also prevents formation of neoplastic changes. Fluorine is important to protect your teeth from decay and iodine ensures correct functioning of the thyroid gland.
As far as vitamins are concerned, shrimps are particularly rich in B vitamins, such as:
• B3 vitamin (niacin) which regulates operation of nervous system and metabolism;
• B6 vitamin which influences favourably nervous system and increases body immunity at the same time;
• PP vitamin which influences production of reproductive organs and thyroid hormones, reduces cholesterol level;
• B12 vitamin (cobalamine) which is necessary in production process of red cells, plays a key role in proper functioning of nervous system.
Some consider shrimps to be royal and expensive dish, therefore they eat them occasionally, usually while visiting restaurants. In the meantime it is easy to cook shrimps; moreover there is no problem in Polish market to purchase crustaceans- you can find a wide range of various types of shrimps, e.g. in nationwide chain of exclusive delis Kuchnie Świata.
Before starting to cook shrimps, let's learn more about them.
Shrimps (in Latin Caridea) are marine and freshwater crustaceans are decapod ones. Approximately 2500 species of shrimps were defined, however, only a part of them are caught for commercial purposes. They live in waters all round the world - including the Baltic, however, due to their small size this type is used as bait. Most worldwide cultivations and catches of shrimps take place in water areas in South-Eastern Asia.
The most popular shrimps among many types are:
• Black tiger shrimps, similarly as white ones, in gastronomy they are called as royal shrimps - their shells are covered with grey and greenish stripes, these are ones of the greatest shrimps;
• white shrimps (Vannamei), similarly as tiger ones, in gastronomy they are called as royal shrimps - they grow very large, their bottom parts are white and the shells are grey and brown;
• Argentinian red shrimps;
• Greenland shrimps (northern);
• Baby cocktail shrimps.
All the types vary in size, leg shape and colour. The most frequently encountered shrimps are grey and red but there are also yellow, creamy, brown and even green. After boiling they change their colour for red and orange or pale pink.
In the market they are called in English as "Shrimps" or "Prawns" - the other name refers to larger specimen (to 15 cm).
As far as shrimp sizes are concerned, the best way of their definition is indication of quantity of shrimps in one-pound packaging (454 g). Or size, e.g. 31/40 means you can expect not fewer than 31 pieces and not more than 40 pieces in 1 lb (pound) packaging. That means that you can expect approximately 80 shrimps in size 31/40 in the packaging weighing 1 kg. However, the packaging weighing 1 kg there will be approximately 42 pieces in size 16/20.
Note In case of entire shrimps (with a head) numbers mean a quantity of pieces in 1 kg.
You do not need to be a top chef to cook delicious shrimps. The simplest method is seasoning peeled shrimps (e.g. tiger ones) with salt and lemon and frying with butter or a little canola oil along with garlic. They must be fried longer than 2-3 minutes. Crustaceans cooked this way can be served with crusty baguette or salad.
Shrimps can be both an excellent snack and a main course. They are used for frying, stewing, grilling and roasting. They can be added to soups, sauses and a wide range of salads.
Here are a few valuable tips:
• You had better use raw shrimps (the grey ones) in hot dishes, the beautiful red ones are already cooked, prepared for consumption as cold or after short warm-up;
• It is worth buying peeled shrimps in the medium size (e.g. 31/40) as they are cheaper and easier to prepare;
• You need to remember the minimum time for heat treating ( 2-3 minutes are enough for medium size);
• Cold-water shrimps are tastier than warm-water ones;
• Cutting the back off shallowly you can remove a dark intestine. Most shrimps are already cleaned before freezing. A dark line along the belly is the artery which needs not be removed;
• You had better use unpeeled shrimps for grilling, its meat will not be dry and more delicate.
Tiger prawns in packs of 750 g net weight and 800 g.
(Sizes: 8/12, 16/20, 31/40)
Available in Kuchnie Świata