I was recently sitting down for dinner with my favorite shrimp recipe, and as I was eating, I pushed the shrimp tails to the side of the plate as I always do. I looked at those little tails, and my mind went all over the place.
Can you eat shrimp tails? Are shrimp tails edible? If so, how do they taste? What else can you do with them? Always solving kitchen problems, I knew there was work to be done.
Once and for all, can you eat shrimp tails?
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Can You Eat Shrimp Tails? Are Shrimp Tails Edible?
You can eat shrimp tails; they are delicious. Shrimp tails are often used in Thai and Northeastern Chinese cuisines. They add a crunchy texture to dishes and make an impressive appetizer.
Can You Digest Shrimp Tails?
Now that you know the answer to can you eat shrimp tails, you may be thinking; they are so tough. Can you digest them?
Yes, you can digest shrimp tails!
Shrimp tails are composed of polymer chitin. It is the most plentiful organic fiber in the world after wood. People used to think that humans could not digest shrimp tails, but studies have shown that human gastric juice contains the enzyme chitinase, which can degrade chitin. The chitinase breaks down the chitin, making it safe to eat.
What are the Benefits of Shrimp Tails?
Are Shrimp Tails Bad For You?
While there are some nutritional benefits to eating shrimp tails, there are also a few downsides. Some people are allergic to the chitin in the shells. Touching them can cause redness and a rash.
Nutritional Value of Shrimp Tails – Are Shrimp Tails Good For You?
The main component of shrimp tails is the enzyme chitin, found in the supplement Chitosan. Studies are suggesting that chitin can lower chole
How to Prepare Shrimp Tails
Do you want to eat shrimp tails? Here’s how to prepare them.
Deep-Fried Shrimp Tails
Coat them in flour, then cornstarch, and deep-fry. Once they are finished, sprinkle with a few red pepper flakes. Voila! You have deep-fried shrimp tails!
If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, you can still use shrimp tails in your cooking by making a quick stock. Take about a pound of shrimp tails and shells in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes until the liquid is orange in color.
If you don’t have a pound right away, you can store them in the freezer in a large Ziploc bag for about three months until you have collected enough to use. The shrimp stock tastes excellent when used in risotto, gumbo, or as a replacement for various broths. It also freezes well if you don’t intend to use it right away.
Do You Leave Shrimp Tails On Or Off When Cooking?
Both! Shrimp tails can be left on or taken off depending on how you are preparing.
When To Leave Shrimp Tails On
If you don’t intend to eat the shrimp tail, it’s best to look at it as a handle. Leave it on when preparing shrimp appetizers like popcorn shrimp or shrimp cocktail.
When To Take Off The Shrimp Tails
When you are cooking a dish that doesn’t include the tails, it’s best to take them off before serving. Just make sure you get all of the meat out. Pinch the shrimp where the tail and the body meet and pull; this should release it all. Just be gentle!
Besides aesthetics, there is no reason to leave the shrimp tails on when cooking.
Shrimp tails make dishes look more appetizing. The tails add visual interest to a plate. If you are looking for a photo for Instagram, leave them on, and snap away. Restaurants leave them on because they look so appealing.
What Do You Think?
Now that you know that shrimp tails are edible, will you try them? Comment below and let me know.
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I would eat shrimp tails. Better than cholesterol meds. And yummier.
LOL. Good point!
The cell walls of mushrooms are also made of chitin
So interesting! I didn’t know that.
Susie Christian says
I’ve been eating shrimp tails for quite a while- figured gotta be good for fingernails and hair. Plus I don’t like throwing away anything potentially edible.
I agree! Use everything you can