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Raw or cooked shrimps are one of the most in-demand seafood all over the world. Favored for their nutritional value, taste, and versatility, pre-cooked or raw shrimps are available in most stores.
While raw and cooked shrimps may be at different cooking levels, their nutritional values are no different except if the shrimps are expired or thawed and refrozen.
The differences between cooked and raw shrimps lie more in their uses, the taste of the final product, and how much time you save by buying either shrimp type.
The Differences Between Raw Shrimp Vs Cooked Shrimp
There are hardly any fresh, out-of-the-sea shrimps except if you live on the Gulf coast. Shrimps get bad quickly and so are usually frozen raw to preserve their freshness. This helps retain their ocean-fresh taste, making them a great addition to raw shrimp recipes.
Due to how quickly they are packed and frozen, raw shrimps usually still contain sand and raw bacteria especially salmonella which is very common in most seafood. Bacteria from seafood can cause allergies which is a major reason why it is not advisable to eat raw/ uncooked shrimp.
Cooked shrimps on the other hand have been cleaned and pre-cooked which makes them a ready addition to your salads and shrimp cocktail. Since they have scaled some levels of cooking, cooked shrimps generally take less time to cook than raw shrimps and are almost as versatile as raw shrimps in their contribution to meals.
The differences between both shrimp types lie majorly in their pricing. Cooked shrimps tend to cost higher than raw shrimps, as labor costs of cleaning and pre-cooking have been incurred in their preparation. Unless the cooked shrimps are about to expire, raw shrimps cost less than cooked shrimps of the same size.
Raw Shrimp Vs Cooked Shrimp: Taste
Since raw shrimps are frozen almost from being freshly caught, raw shrimps bring an intense ocean freshness to meals. When cooked raw, chefs have the option of cooking shrimp with their shells which are believed to add a stronger shrimp flavor to the meal.
Cooking with raw shrimp also allows you to enjoy shrimp head juices, known as shrimp hepatopancreas. With or without their shells, raw shrimps retain their bold sweet taste and pure shrimp flavor regardless of what meal you add them to.
Pre-cooked shrimps cannot be heated for long and so absorb less flavor from your ingredients than raw shrimps do. The result is a great Unami taste, subdued flavor, and mildly sweet notes when compared to raw shrimps.
Unlike raw shrimps that allow you to dictate their use and purposes, cooked shrimps though versatile cannot be used for some raw shrimp recipes like sushi and other Asain meals. Albeit, pre-cooked shrimps ease your cooking process as they take only about 15 minutes or less to get ready.
Raw Shrimp Vs Cooked Shrimp: Nutrition
Shrimps are a rich source of protein and Vitamin B12 but are low in calories, carbs, and fat. In fact, 4 oz of shrimp contains only 80 calories per portion which means that you can eat a lot of shrimp while maintaining your weight.
Shrimp do not lose their nutritional value during cooking, which means that whether pre-cooked or raw, the nutritional value of shrimp is usually not altered by the cooking process.
Raw shrimp typically contain over 70 types of bacteria which increase the chances of allergies in consumption. The chances of developing an allergy are usually minimized when the shrimp is properly prepared as in the case of a sushi chef or properly washed with vinegar.
Cleaning your raw shrimps properly helps you get the full health benefits and nutritional value that comes with eating shrimps.
Since cooked shrimp come in cleaned and pre-cooked, they usually do not contain any of the bacteria unless they are expired or smell unfresh.
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What Are the Uses of Raw Shrimp?
Raw shrimps are excellent for raw shrimp recipes like sushi and other Japanese cuisine and some Chinese meals.
They can also be used for any shrimp-based meals like Garlic Butter Shrimp, Sweet and Sour Shrimp, Shrimp Ceviche, and so on.
What Are the Uses of Cooked Shrimp?
Cooked shrimps can be added directly to noodles and pasta meals, salads, grains, spring rolls, and sandwiches. Essentially any shrimp-based meal.
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Which One Should You Choose? (Raw Shrimp Vs Cooked Shrimp)
Most chefs pass on buying cooked shrimp except when they are in a hurry. This is because raw shrimps bring more to the table than pre-cooked shrimps as you have seen so far in this post.
Raw shrimps have a more intense shrimp flavor than pre-cooked shrimps do. They are also inexpensive in comparison to cooked shrimp and allow for more versatility with your cooking.
Shrimp head is another high-priced delicacy from using raw shrimp. The juice that flows from biting into the shrimp head tastes like tomalley, filling your mouth with its fishy richness, sweetness, and flavor.
Pre-cooked shrimps are a good choice but raw shrimps are better. The nutritional benefits are no different but with raw shrimps possessing purer and stronger sweetness coupled with an intense ocean flavor, what could be the debate here? Except you’re in a hurry.