See also: Rock Shrimp Recipes
Rock shrimp derives its name from the rock-like hardness of its shell and can easily be mistaken for a miniature lobster tail. Rock shrimp, which tastes like a lobster, is actually a member of the shrimp family. The texture of the rock shrimp leans toward the lobster, while the palate appeal is more like a shrimp.
The rock shrimp (Sicyonia brevirostris) is a deep-water cousin of pink, brown and white shrimps. But due to its hard exoskeleton or shell, it did not have the large market and popularity as its cousins until a machine was invented that would split the tough shell and devein the shrimp. Now rock shrimp are widely available fresh or frozen, whole, headless, shell-on, peeled, round, split or deveined.
Similar to deep-sea lobster, rock shrimp live, spawn and are harvested in 120 to 240 feet of water. Harvesting is done with reinforced trawl nets throughout the year.
ROCK SHRIMP ATTRIBUTES
Firm texture, similar to Spiny Lobster with sweet, distinct flavor. Low fat.
Shrimp, Spiny Lobster.
HOW MUCH TO BUY
Two pounds of raw tails will yield one pound of cooked, peeled and deveined rock shrimp.
BUYING, STORAGE AND HANDLING
• Remember to purchase seafood last and keep it cold during the trip home.
• Rock Shrimp are sold by "count" (number of shrimp per pound) with the largest size about 21-25 per pound.
• Rock Shrimp should have a mild aroma (similar to the ocean), tightly adhering shells and firm flesh.
• Store them in the coldest part of your refrigerator at 32 degrees F and use within two days, or freeze at 0 degrees F for up to six months
• To clean rock shrimp use one of these methods:
• For broiling in the shell: Place the rock shrimp on a cutting board, dorsal side down and the swimmerets up. With a sharp knife, cut from the base of the tail to the other end, but not through the shell. Gently spread the meat apart to expose the sand vein and wash under cold running water.
• To remove the shell: Use sharp kitchen scissors to snip through the back, down the middle and to the base of the tail. Gently separate shell from flesh and remove sand vein by rinsing under cold running water. This method is recommended for boiling or sauteing.
• Keep raw and cooked seafood separate to prevent bacterial cross-contamination.
• After handling raw seafood thoroughly wash knives, cutting surfaces, sponges and your hands with hot soapy water.
• Always marinate seafood in the refrigerator.
• Discard marinade; it contains raw juices which may harbor bacteria.
• When marinade is needed for basting reserve a portion before adding raw seafood.
• Rock shrimp cook more quickly than other shrimp.
• To boil: Drop in a pot of boiling salted water, stir, and after 35 seconds pour into a colander and rinse with cold water.
• To broil: Place 4 inches from the source of heat for 2 minutes or until the meat turns opaque.
Nutritional values for approximately 4 ounces (114 grams) of raw, edible portions
• Calories 110
• Calories From Fat 10
• Total Fat 1 g
• Saturated Fat .5 g
• Cholesterol 140 mg
• Sodium 380 mg
• Total Carbohydrates 0 g
• Protein 21 g
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services www.fl-seafood.com