Alton’s Ingredient Alchemy: Shrimp | Food Network

– Americans love shrimp We eat way more of those little critters than any other seafood

And that's OK Shrimp are plentiful They're relatively healthy But most of us have a relatively low shrimp-Q There are hundreds of varieties, white, brown, rock, pink

Shrimp are highly perishable So if I'm going to use them in a dish like, say, a pasta or a stir fry, where they're going to be team players, I tend to use what's called IQF shrimp That means Individually Quick Frozen They're a heck of a lot easier to portion out Why? Because they're in a bag

You can just reach in and count them, 1, 2, 3 If you do, however, prefer fresh shrimp, here's a couple of rules Always buy them head on The head can tell you a lot about the freshness For instance, if there are black spots on the head, you should maybe have chicken that night

Also, fresh shrimp will never smell even a little like ammonia My general rule, I only buy fresh shrimp if I'm about 25 miles from the ocean, because otherwise, they were probably frozen and thawed And I'd rather be the one to do the thawing