Living on the Wild Side?  Stick with Wild Shrimp from the US of A.

By on February 8, 2019

Living on the Wild Side?  Stick with Wild Shrimp from the US of A.

When in comes to reading labels,  you can really score when it comes to seafood and shrimp by reading the labels in the seafood case.  Why?  Because the laws of our country protect us.

If the label says wild-caught,  it means just that.  The strict regulations instituted by the U.S. help a lot.  But other elements come into play when you’re making your choice.

Frozen shrimp or fresh? Which is best?  In fact, most fresh shrimp in the counter has been thawed in the back of the house, so your best bet for getting the very freshest shrimp is to buy the frozen stuff.

And where are the best American shrimps found?  The good old Northwest corridor.  Washington and Oregon produce good, pure, clean wild shrimp in a number of sizes.  So ask your seafood vendor where the shrimp are from.  It matters.

And because shrimp, along with other small sized seafood reproduce quickly,  the water your little swimming buddies came up in makes a difference not only to human beings but also to the environment.  I mean.  Think about it for a minute.  Domesticated water dwelling critters have to live in their own waste and the results wind up in the food supply. Period.

But thanks to the strict laws in the U.S. the rules about trawling and fish farming help protect not only our health but the health of the oceans as well.

And don’t worry about those who say shrimp are high in cholesterol. Nutritionists and scientists concur that unless dietary cholesterol is combined with high saturated fat, it does not elevate blood cholesterol.  Good to know. In fact, shrimp is an excellent source of protein.  If you are aiming for 8 ounces of seafood a week, those American produced shrimp are a good  place to start.

Buy the shrimp frozen, then cook them quickly in boiling water – just until they turn pink, then rinse and drain.  Voila.  You’re nearly there to a great dinner.

Here’s one of my favorite quick cold dinners:


Lime and Coconut Shrimp with Cukes in Butter Lettuce Leaves

  •  (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk, well shaken and stirred
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest plus 1 cup fresh juice (from 8 limes)
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 pounds peeled, deveined, and cooked large shrimp then drained and chilled
  • 2 small jalapeno chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced
  • 1 small jicama (10 ounces), peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • ½ cup torn fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 12 butter lettuce leaves

Whisk together coconut milk, lime zest and juice, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl until combined. Add shrimp and chiles and toss to coat. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Drain shrimp and chiles, reserving marinade in a small bowl. Transfer shrimp and chiles to a large bowl and season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Stir remaining ½ teaspoon salt and pepper into reserved marinade.

Arrange shrimp, chiles, cucumbers, and jicama on a platter and spoon 3 tablespoons reserved marinade over top. Top with cilantro and flaky sea salt. Make pockets from butter lettuce leaves and spoon shrimp mixture inside. Serve with lime wedges and remaining marinade.



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About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”