Shrimp Shells- Use Them, Don’t Lose Them!Update: 8/4/2015
I absolutely love shrimp. It’s been my favorite since I was a little child and first tasted shrimp scampi when my grandpa took me to my first posh restaurant as a special treat.
Now I make it Paleo style (sans the butter) and always make sure to buy wild caught shrimp.
I leave the shell on for this, and most shrimp dishes I make, as doing so renders a moist finished product which I think supersedes the hassle of getting a little messy peeling off the little legs while you’re eating…
Recently, I came across a recipe for a new way to use the shells, in my favorite cooking magazine, Cook’s Illustrated.
They always do a fantastic job of explaining why they do what they do and the takeaway about using the shrimp shells is that since they’re high in flavor boosting nucleotides, browning them to create the Maillard reaction (a flavor reaction, which also happens to be a browning reaction) that is often used in seafood bisque recipes, proves to impart a powerful flavor contribution to what might be an otherwise ho-hum dish.
Try it next time- peel your shrimp and sauté the shells perhaps in coconut oil (if you’re using a higher heat for an Asian inspired theme), or olive oil (lower heat) perhaps with garlic, lemon, white wine and parsley for scampi, then discard the shells before adding the shrimp and see if you don’t notice a significantly more delish flavor!