Shrimp are a versatile, nutritious and delicious protein — whether served as an appetizer, on top of a salad, in a savory pasta dish or tossed into a low country boil. That’s why it’s no surprise that this beloved shellfish is the most widely served seafood in the entire United States.
Today, we’re spotlighting one of the most impressive and unique types of shrimp on the market: the tiger shrimp.
Named for the characteristic black and white banding on their tails, tiger shrimp can grow to be more than a foot in length and is the largest commercially available shrimp. While native to Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Australia, tiger prawns are considered an invasive species in parts of the east coast and the Gulf of Mexico.
Like other prawns and lobsters, tiger shrimp are decapods, which means they have a spiny exoskeleton and 10 legs. Female tiger shrimp tend to be larger than male tiger shrimp, getting as large as 10 ounces each.
Coveted for their size, tiger shrimp have a distinct buttery flavor and a firm texture when cooked properly. When your shrimp arrives, they’ll be deveined and headless, with the shells on. Not sure how to go about preparing a meal with tiger shrimp? Here are a few ideas to help inspire you:
- Boiled for a shrimp cocktail. Serve up the ideal appetizer with simply boiled shrimp and cocktail sauce to really let the natural flavor shine.
- Steamed and tossed in Old Bay. A classic for a reason, steamed shrimp is perfect for a casual meal where you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty and really want to show off those striped shells.
- Sautéed with garlic, butter and lemon. Create the ideal pasta topping with the killer flavor combination of shrimp, garlic, butter and lemon.
- On the grill. Skewer shrimp alongside your favorite vegetables and brush with a ginger-soy marinade for perfectly crave-able kebobs.
- In tacos. Shrimp tacos are a great way to mix up Taco Tuesday — and tiger shrimp are the ideal size to fill a tortilla.
- In a low country boil. As far as we’re concerned, there’s no greater combination than shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes.
Depending on how you choose to prepare tiger shrimp, you may wish to remove the shells before cooking or leave them on to trap in flavor. Cooking with the shells on can also serve as protection to keep the shrimp from cooking too quickly. Particularly for methods like grilling or in a low country boil, leaving on the shell is the best choice.
But wait! Before you throw those shells in the compost pit, consider freezing and saving them to make homemade seafood stock. Then, next time you cook up a gumbo or chowder, you’ll already have a flavorful stock to enhance your final product.
These large and uniquely striped shrimp are both a treat for the eyes and the taste buds. A must-have for shrimp lovers and the perfect addition to any seafood feast, tiger shrimp are a product we’re proud to spotlight.