Nature’s delicious ‘fast food’, shrimp is amazingly versatile, adaptable to a myriad of recipes, and one of my most favorite seafood proteins to cook with.
However, not so fast on your choice of shrimp! It turns out the vast majority of shrimp we enjoy in restaurants and buy frozen to bring home, has a rather unsavory origin.
Shrimp is a protein in high demand, and in order to produce it cheaply, in large quantities, much of the shrimp on the market is farm-raised in rather unsavory conditions (1.).
A growing concern is shrimp farm-raised in Asia and Central America, large shrimp ponds destroying natural environments such as mangrove forests, and the local community co-erst to work in slave labor like conditions.
Devoid of a natural food source, the shrimp are fed pellets made of ground-up fish waste and by-products, and administered antibiotics to keep rampant illnesses under control.
The ‘ick’ factor doesn’t end there… you know that weird rubbery texture and tinny taste of certain shrimp? That’s a flag your shrimp got treated with a chemical bath, most likely sodium tripolyphosphate and sodium bisulfite.
These chemicals are a slushy brine used to preserve the shrimp and prevent dark oxidation spots, which are naturally occurring and harmless, presenting the customer with perfectly pink shrimp.
Tripolyphosphate in Shrimp
The role of the tripolyphosphate is to act as a preservative, and also for profits, as the sodium bumps up the weight of the shrimp, and the price! The dark side of this preservative is that it creates allergic reactions in many people, particularly those with histamine intolerance or autoimmune conditions,
It’s no wonder I am super wary of the source of my shrimp, and always seek out wild-caught shrimp, harvested naturally and flash frozen with no preservatives. This is why I am so super excited that a source for clean, gulf shrimp has opened up right in my town of Fort Mill!
Captains’ Select Seafood brings in clean, flash-frozen gulf shrimp and seafood directly from the gulf to the Carolinas, and the proof is most definitely in the taste! This past week I had fun creating this family-friendly gulf shrimp bowl recipe which was filmed in the new Captain’s Select Seafood store for CN2 News Today Show.
Shrimp Bowl Meal Prep
If you want the kids to eat a dish, making it a little sweeter usually does the trick, and in this case, the addition of mango and just a little honey gives just the right amount of sweet, balanced with ginger and a touch of spiciness.
The quick brine treatment gives the shrimp just the right amount of saltiness, without all the components tasting salty, note very little soy is needed in the sauce.
My team of tasters loved this recipe, and I hope you will too!
The clean, fresh taste of Gulf shrimp shines with mango and ginger in this delicious, family friendly dish.
Shrimp & Brine:
2 Lb. Gulf Shrimp, peeled & deveinedot
1 Tbsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
3 cups Cold Water
Stir Fry & Sauce:
1 Tbsp. Ghee
1/2 Red Onion, small dice
2 heads of Broccoli, stalks finely sliced, and florets separated
8 small Salad Peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 inch Ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 cloves Garlic, grated
8 oz. Sugar Snap Peas, sliced on the bias
1 ripe Mango, half small dice, half pureed
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp. Honey
2 Tbsp. Butter (optional)
1/4 cup Asian Basil, chiffonade cut
1 Lime, cut in wedges
Rice or Noodles, to serve
Prepare the shrimp:
Place all ingredients in a bowl, allow the shrimp to brine for about 20 minutes
Prepare the stir fry:
Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add the ghee and immediately add the red onion and broccoli stalks. Lower the heat as needed to prevent burning, and sauté for a few minutes.
Add the peppers, ginger, and garlic, sauté a few minutes more.
Add the broccoli florets, sauté a few minutes.
Add all the sauce ingredients; mango puree and pieces, soy sauce and honey, stir to combine.
The sauce will start to stick, drain the shrimp, toss in the pan, turn up the heat and sauté for two or three minutes, it cooks extremely fast! The moisture from the shrimp will release the sauce and coat the shrimp.
Finish by stirring the butter in.
Serve with rice or noodles, garnish with the basil chiffonade and lime wedges.
For this recipe I chose to spiral cut the shrimp, which allows the shrimp to cook fast and evenly, and create an attractive spiral
Keep the tail end intact, slice the shrimp in half length-ways and remove the vein.