All seafood is nutritious, rich in important vitamins and mineral such as iron, zinc, B and D vitamins. It is also an excellent source of high quality protein. It is recommended to eat seafood at least once a week. There are more reasons for that. Seafood is scrumptious and aesthetically delightful when served on the table. There are also innumerable ways to cook seafood so there is space for gastronomic variety.
When seafood is mentioned, fish comes to mind readily because of its abundance and availability. For more exciting seafood fare, shellfish is the choice especially shrimps and crabs.
Shrimps is not only very nutritious, it is the most popular shellfish in the country. It is a popular ingredient in appetizers, salads, chowders and, of course, as a main dish. Shrimp comes in a variety of sizes and types. Although there are more than 300 varieties of shrimp, the most popular types are the brown, pink and white shrimp from the Atlantic Ocean. These common names refer to the general color of the shrimp before cooking.
Deveining shrimps is pretty much a question of aesthetics. It's fairly easy to devein large shrimps; just slit along the back and lift out the vein with a knife. Most cooks won't bother deveining medium-sized or smaller shrimps, unless they look particularly dirty, although one will occasionally taste a tad gritty when left intact. Shrimp can be bought fresh, frozen, cooked canned and dried.
Second only to shrimp in shellfish popularity, crab or crabmeat is available year-round in some form, including live, raw, frozen, cooked and caned. Live crabs should be refrigerated and used on the day of purchase. Raw crabmeat should also be kept refrigerated and used within 24 hours. Thawed, cooked crab should be used within the same day of purchase. Vacuum-packed crab can be stored in the refrigerator up to a month and used within four days of opening. Canned crab is good for six months.
To freeze crabmeat, cook the crabs and remove the meat. Pack into airtight containers and cover with a light brine (4 teaspoons of salt to 1 quart of water), leaving ½-inch headspace in the container. Frozen crabs can be stored up to four months at 0ºC.