Shrimps are one of the most delicious and versatile additions to main courses, appetizers, and lunches. For this reason, many people purchase fresh shrimps to cook at home. It goes without saying that proper cleaning, preparation, and cooking are essential because bad shrimp carries a risk of food poisoning.
However, when it comes down to preparing and cooking the shrimps, green stuff in shrimps is a major concern shared by many people and we are sharing all you need to know about it!
What Is Green Stuff In Shrimps?
If you have purchased raw shrimps and there is a thin and long green string passing down the back, there are high chances that it’s the digestive tract. In the majority of cases, it’s green in color. However, if it is filled with grit, it will appear black. Consuming this digestive tract isn’t harmful to human beings but it’s removed for aesthetic purposes. Personally, we suggest that you remove the digestive tract to eliminate the possibility of infections or food poisoning. The removal process is known as deveining.
Should You Devein The Shrimps Or Not?
Honestly, deveining the shrimps depend on the aesthetics and your personal preference rather than hygiene. This is because the vein and digestive tract aren’t harmful to humans even if consumed. In case the digestive tract or vein is visible through the shrimp’s meat and shell, and find it unattractive, you can easily remove it. For instance, the restaurants don’t remove the vein in Japan. The bigger shrimps are easier to devein as you can use a paring knife – it’s easier to create a slit along the shrimps’ backs and take out the vein and digestive tract (use the knife’s tip to lift it off).
In the majority of cases, the chefs don’t bother taking out the vein or digestive tract from the small and medium-sized shrimps unless they are too dirty. This is because the small shrimps are challenging to clean and devein. Having said that, if you don’t like the vein, you can simply get the deveined shrimps from the supermarkets.
Signs Of Bad Shrimps
Shrimps are great when you want a nice brunch or a full meal but it is essential to be careful about cleaning and preparing them. As far as the green stuff is concerned, it’s clear that there is nothing to be worried about. However, there are some other signs of bad shrimps that you need to be aware of!
When it comes down to detecting the bad shrimps, your sense of smell is the ultimate tool. The unspoiled and fresh shrimps tend to have a mild salty aroma, or in some cases, there won’t be any smell. On the other hand, if the shrimps have a fishy and overwhelming aroma, you need to discard them. In addition, you need to be careful about the bleach and ammonia smells because these smells signal bacterial growth, which carries a risk of food poisoning.
The second sign you need to be careful about is the shell. The fresh and raw shrimps should have firm, glossy, clean, and translucent shells. In case there are black spots on shrimps’ shells, they are natural and you don’t need to be worried. According to the experts, the black spots are caused by improper processing and harvesting process. All in all, you need to stay away from the shrimps if they have gritty and yellow shells.
3. Consistency & Color Of The Meat
The fresh shrimps need to have translucent and firm meat but the color can range from light green to white, depending on the shrimp variety you choose. On the other hand, if the meat seems opaque, the shrimp could be spoiled. In addition, the shrimps must be attached to the shell, and if the body and shrimps aren’t connected, there are high chances that shrimps are bad. As far as the cooked shrimps are concerned, the meat should be white and firm with a slight pinch of pink color on the exterior side.
It doesn’t matter if the shrimps are cooked or raw, the headed shrimps are highly likely to have better flavor and texture as compared to headless shrimps. So, look at the head and if the eyes are moist and glossy, the shrimps are fresh. On the other hand, if the eyes are shrunk or missing, you shouldn’t consume the shrimp.