True shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Together with prawns, they are widely caught and farmed for human consumption.
Recipes using shrimp form part of the cuisine of many cultures: examples include shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. Strictly speaking, dishes containing scampi should be made from the Norway lobster, a shrimp-like crustacean more closely related to the lobster than shrimp, but in some places it is quite common for large shrimp to be used instead.
As with other seafood, shrimp is high in calcium and protein but low in food energy. A shrimp-based meal is also a significant source of cholesterol, from 7 mg to 251 mg per 100 g of shrimp, depending on the method of preparation.
Dried shrimp is commonly used as a flavoring and as a soup base in Asian cuisines while fried shrimp is popular in North America. In Europe, shrimp is very popular, forming a necessary ingredient in Spanish paella de marisco, French bouillabaisse, Italian cacciucco, Portuguese caldeirada and many other seafood dishes. Shrimp curry is very popular in South Asia and Southeast Asia. They are also found in Latin and Caribbean dishes such as enchiladas.
Shrimp and other shellfish are among the most common food allergens. Also, eating shrimp - either dried or fresh - may lead to iodine poisoning.
Preparing shrimp for consumption usually involves removing the shell, tail, and "sand vein".
To deshell a shrimp, the tail is held while gently removing the shell around the body. The tail can be detached completely at this point, or left attached for presentation purposes.
Removing the "vein" (a euphemism for the digestive tract) can be referred to as "deveining", though in fact shrimp do not have any real veins; they have an open circulatory system. The "vein" can be removed by making a shallow cut lengthwise down the outer curve of the shrimp's body, allowing the dark ribbon-like digestive tract to be removed with a pointed utensil. Alternatively, if the tail has been detached, the vein can be pinched at the tail end and pulled out completely with the fingers.
The shrimp is then rinsed under cold running water.
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