PRIMARY FISHING METHOD:
• Slimy or “glassy” shrimp is a sign of phosphate abuse.
• Because they’re already cooked and peeled, coldwater shrimp meat is one of the world’s most convenient seafoods.
• IQF products allow users to use only as much as needed at a time.
Although they’re smaller than most warmwater shrimp and account for a similarly sized percentage of global shrimp landings, coldwater or Pandalid shrimp are highly regarded for their affordability, versatility and above all, clean, sweet flavor. On a salad, in a shrimp roll or even as whole cooked peel ‘n eats, they offer an excellent alternative that has more flavor than their warmwater cousins.
The world’s total catch of coldwater shrimp has been increasing in recent years and is currently around 300,000 tons a year; the leading producers are Canada, Iceland, Greenland and Norway. Found in the cold waters off Northern Europe and northern North America, coldwater shrimp catches are dominated by two species, Pandalus borealis and Pandalus jordani.
P. borealis account for 80-90% of the global catch of coldwater shrimp. Ranging from New England to Greenland to Northern Europe, they tend to be larger than P. jordani and produce cooked and peeled meats that generally range from 90 to 300 count per pound. The major coldwater-shrimp resource in the Pacific is P. jordani. Ranging from Northern California to Southeast Alaska, they tend to run smaller than P. borealis and produce peeled meats that are sold as 250/350s and 350/500s
Unlike warmwater shrimp, which rarely live more than a year, coldwater shrimp only reach a harvestable size after 1 year and can live for 3 to 4 years.
Because they’re primarily deepwater animals, coldwater shrimp do not ingest mud, sand, etc., with their food, one reason their veins are clearer than those of warmwater shrimp.
Coldwater shrimp can be distinguished from like-sized warmwater shrimp because they have a longer rostrum (beak) and claws on one pair of feet instead of three.
Split between New England and the Pacific Northwest, U.S. catches of coldwater shrimp fluctuate greatly. In recent years, Pacific catches have averaged 28 million pounds, while New England catches have averaged 13 million pounds.
Frozen coldwater shrimpmeat is available year-round; fresh product is available seasonally based on region: April to October on the West Coast, December to May on the East Coast.
While P. borealis and P. jordani dominate the world market for coldwater shrimp, several other species, including spot shrimp, sidestripes, etc., are available on a limited basis. Caught in traps in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, these species typically run much larger than typical coldwater pinks.
Pandalus borealis, Pandalus jordani
Coldwater shrimp, Northern pink shrimp, ocean shrimp SIZE RANGE: To 6.5 inches
Whole to cooked, peeled meats: 25-30%
FROZEN: Cooked, peeled meats (90/500 count); whole, raw and cooked.
STORAGE & HANDLING:
Most shrimp meat is sold IQF in 5-lb. bags. Properly glazed, frozen product will keep for a year, while inadequate glazing can lead to freezer burn. Fresh product has a shelf life of 5 to 7 days.
These small pink shrimp, which are softer but more intensely flavored than warmwater shrimp, are sold almost exclusively frozen cooked. The small size (and the fact that they’re already cooked) makes them ideal for shrimp cocktails, salads, casseroles, quiches and omelettes. When adding coldwater shrimp to a hot dish, add them at the last minute, though, as they will dry out.