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What Are the Best Tips for Cooking with Canned Shrimp?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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The main thing to remember when cooking with canned shrimp is that the pieces are typically small as well as quite soft from being immersed in water. This means that if you're not careful when mixing the shrimp with other ingredients or when stirring it in a pan to heat, you could break it up into pieces that are just too tiny to be appetizing. Canned shrimp is best when handled carefully, such as by mixing or stirring it gently near the end of cooking time or using it to top dishes such as pastas or sandwiches. This style of shrimp also may be quite salty; rinsing it before use can be a good idea especially if it will be used in a recipe with salt added.

For instance, if you want to add the shrimp to a saltier type of soup, it is best to rinse it. The flavors in the soup are likely to make the extra salt not be missed. Adding canned shrimp to a vegetable-based soup can make it more interesting as well as create a source of protein. The soup should be ready to serve with the shrimp added just at the end of simmering so it can hold its shape.

Canned shrimp is also great for adding protein, texture and flavor to salads. Since shrimp tends to be on the expensive side, a great tip is to combine it with at least one other less costly protein in a salad such as sliced hard boiled eggs. For a shrimp cocktail, using a small spoon or fork to stir in the sauce can help in not breaking up the seafood too much.

Adding canned shrimp to the top of a cooked, hot, ready-to-serve pasta dish, along with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, can be delicious. This can be a helpful tip when some family members want a plain tomato or other sauce, but others would prefer a meatball or shrimp topping. Having one sauce with a few different protein topping choices can work well in that case. The quick convenience of canned seafood can also make for a different, yet delicious pizza topping that goes especially well with black olives and any type of cheese.

To help keep shrimp from falling out of sandwiches, using bread rolls with a slight hollow in the middle rather than slices can be a great idea. Just a little of the bread removed from the bottom part of the roll can create an indentation to hold the canned shrimp and keep it inside the sandwich. A little mayonnaise, dill, pepper or other seasonings may be carefully mixed into the shrimp before it's added to the bread rolls.

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Discussion Comments
By Talentryto — On Jun 25, 2014

You can also use canned shrimp to an omelet for seafood twist to a traditional breakfast food. If you don't put salt in the recipe, you don't even have to rinse the shrimp. Just drain off the excess water and mix it with the eggs to cook.

By Heavanet — On Jun 24, 2014

Canned shrimp is great for creating a unique twist to a favorite tuna noodle casserole recipe. When you add a can along with the typical ingredients for this dish, you will create a hardy seafood meal with lots of flavor.

All you have to do is use your standard tuna noodle casserole recipe and a can of shrimp. Since this dish is fairly salty, you should rinse the canned shrimp before adding it to the other ingredients. As you cook your recipe like you always do, simply put the shrimp in to cook along with the tuna and the other ingredients so the flavors can blend together thoroughly.

By Spotiche5 — On Jun 23, 2014

Some canned shrimp is not too soggy, and comes in larger pieces. When you shop for it, look for the type that says whole or large shrimp on the label if you want to use it for a shrimp recipe that calls for bigger pieces.

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