It’s about time this little crustacean got its big day—happy National Shrimp Day! To celebrate, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite recipes featuring shrimp. Quick-cooking, economical and oh so tasty, these shellfish are a home cook’s weeknight hero—albeit a diminutive one. Check out our recipes below, and then read on for some fun facts and shrimply helpful tips.
- Perfectly Grilled Shrimp (shown above)
- Grilled Shrimp with Lime and Chile-Cilantro Butter
- Salt Block Honey-Black-Pepper Shrimp (make it with our top-rated Himalayan Salt Block)
- Spicy Shrimp Simmered in Basil (shown above)
- Herbed Shrimp Skewers with Mint-Feta Pesto
- Popcorn Shrimp with Bloody Mary Aioli
- Mixed Seafood Paella (shown above)
- Perfect Shrimp Cocktail
- Shrimp with Garlic
- Curry Shrimp with Vegetable Noodles
Fun Facts for National Shrimp Day
- Despite having ten legs, shrimp aren’t big walkers. They get around primarily by swimming and use those legs to perch on things like coral.
- There are more than 2,000 species of shrimp, and some can live up to 8 years.
- Shrimp aren’t picky about where they live. You’ll find them on the ocean floor along the coastline, as well as in rivers and lakes.
- One person in America eats more than 4 pounds of shrimp every year. That’s nearly double the amount one person eats of canned tuna, the next most popular seafood.
- With 318 million people in the US, that adds up to more than one billion pounds of shrimp eaten here annually.
- Colonies of snapping shrimp can be so noisy that they interfere with sonar equipment.
- Some mantis shrimp can grow to be a foot long.
- Clay vessels with shrimp depicted on them have been found in the ruins of Pompeii.
- That vein in the shrimp that you need to remove—it’s actually not a vein at all. It’s the shrimp’s digestive tract.
- There really is a biological difference between prawns and shrimp. To see it, look at the second plate from the head on the underside of the tail. On a shrimp, that plate overlaps both the first and third plates; on a prawn, it only overlaps the third plate.
Tips for Cooking with Shrimp
- The best choice to eat sustainably is choosing shrimp farmed in the US or caught Alaska. Wild-caught from Canada and the US are also good choices. It’s best to steer clear of imported shrimp. Visit Seafood Watch for more information.
- You’re usually better off buying frozen shrimp over fresh—unless you can get live ones. Nearly all of the “fresh” shrimp you’ll see at the fish counter were actually previously frozen, and who knows how long they’ve been defrosted.
- Save the heads, tails and shells! Throw those into a pot with some aromatics to make your own fish stock.
- To defrost frozen shrimp, just place them in a colander and run cold water over them until thawed.
What are your big (or small) ideas for celebrating National Shrimp Day? Don’t be shellfish—share them in the comments!