Is shrimp supposed to be rubbery??

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by shawtycat, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. shawtycat


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    Ive never really had seafood or cooked it either (other than fish). Everytime Ive had shrimp it tasted like those white rubber erasers mom used to buy for school. What is seafood really supposed to taste like? I wanna know what the hubbub is about. Shrimp always looks soooo good. :cry: Waaaahhhh!

    Any tips on cooking them at home? Is supermarket shrimp good? What about those precooked ones?

    Does anyone know where I can find a good seafood place in New Jersey? Im in Bergen County.
  2. jim berman

    jim berman

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    Professional Chef
    When shrimp are rubbery/chewy/eraser-like, they are overcooked. Always arrest their cooking when they appear 60% +/- opaque. Generally a strip of semi-translucent flesh should remain down the 'groove' on the back of the shrimp (where the vein is/was).
    As for purchasing, check out the Pltt Seafood Forum. Those guys are the experts! I will cautuon you, however, on those pre-cooked specimens. THey ar expensive and short on flavor and texture. You better cooking your own, based on whichever recipe you choose.
    Hope this helps.
  3. kokopuffs


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    Home Cook
    May I add that the same principle applies to squid. OVERCOOKED=RUBBER
  4. billyg60


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    As a Sous chef at a mainly seafood restaurant I can add a few things.

    First off, buy the freshest shrimp you can afford and buy them in the 26-30 or 31-35 size. (meaning 26-30 shrimp per pound,heads off or 31-35 per pound.) If fresh isnt available there are some fine frozen products available. King and Prince seafood makes a nice product, and they use shrimp from the area I live in (SE Georgia--nothing better than good old Georgia whites--sweet and quite tasty.)

    Those larger sizes to me get a little tougher when you cook them.
    As for doneness,cook untill they turn just a little pink (gota love that built in thermometer!!)

    Some of the recipies we use at the Restaurant I work at include<

    Garlic shrimp.
    Basicly shrimp simmered in a good white wine with butter, fresh garlic and fresh parsley, add a little water or shrimp stock to the butter and wine (use equal parts of butter, wine, and stock or water.

    Grilled Shrimp
    skewered and grilled a couple of ways.
    Honey BBQ
    Spicy Jerk paste

    A Favorite at my place.
    Grilled shrimp basted with,

    Makes 1 qt
    6-8 Tablespoons Old Bay
    2 bayleaves
    1 fresh lime
    1 fresh lemon
    1 cup parsley, fresh or dried
    1 cup melted butter
    1 qt of water (round figure,add more or less)

    Mix all together(adding thehalves of the lemon and lime after squezing the juice into it)

    And I serve this over a veggie rice pilaf.

    For the menu to the restaurant I work at, look at mw www site from the bottom of this post.

  5. pongi


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    May I add something more?

    Being italian, of course I can't say anything about the best shrimp sellers...but, if this rule is the same the world over, shrimps and prawns are really good only when they're fresh and whole (when I can, I buy them still alive!). Be cautious when they are headless, shelled or frozen...they can be satisfactory if the seller is a good one, but have nothing to do with the fresh things! As for the precooked one, I agree with Jim...avoid them if you can.

    When I can get the best quality, I like more shrimps and prawns simply steamed for 4-5 mins and then shelled and served with few drops of lemon and good olive oil. Generally speaking, I think that seafood is better when cooked whole than shelled, and that steaming is better than boiling...and this isn't an original thought!

    My favourite seafood pasta recipe is this one-simple but tasty:

    -Sautè in a large pan with good olive oil a couple of fresh diced tomatoes, a garlic clove and a chili pepper (optional) with the heads of 1 lb shrimps or prawns;

    -Remove the heads, add the seafood (shelled or not, according to your taste and the patience of your guests), cook them for 4-5 mins, season with salt and a handful chopped fresh parsley and basil;

    -Boil in salted water 14-15 oz spaghetti or linguine, drain them slightly undercooked and sautè them into the seafood pan until ready.

    This serves 4.

  6. markdchef


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    Always get shrimp uncooked from a reputable fish monger. I have purchased consistently high quality shrimp at Whole Foods in NJ.

    Basic shrimp cocktail:

    Under cold running water deshell and devein shrimp. Drop cleaned shrimp into boiling lightly salted water with one bay leaf in it. Cook just until the shrimp turn pink. This only takes a minute or two depending on the size of the shrimp. Drain and plunge into an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Drain well and chill.

    Cocktail sauce:

    Muir Glen ketchup
    fresh squeezed lemon juice
    sea salt
    white pepper

    Shrimp should never be rubbery. If you are ever served rubbery shrimp send it back!
  7. chiffonade


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    Professional Chef
    Someone mentioned that shrimp should be removed from the heat source at 60% cooked. Keep in mind, if these shrimp will be cooked further in any kind of sauce, they should be pulled at even LESS cooked!

    Shrimp sold raw have been frozen then thawed. It's best to buy shrimp frozen unless you're near the place where they were caught. I try not to buy really small shrimp because 1) they are too much work for too little payoff; and 2) they overcook easily.

    I have a name for rubbery shrimp: Hockey Pucks.