What Does Shrimp Taste Like?

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Are you confused what does shrimp taste like? If so, this presentation just for you. Shrimp, being one of the most common seafood, is gaining popularity around the globe. It is a mouthwatering delicacy that’s eaten grilled on a barbecue, but can also be eaten as cold appetizers. However, the frequent question many people ask—what is the taste of shrimp- is not an easy one to answer. For instance, shrimps may have different tastes, depending on their condition. A raw shrimp will taste different from a cooked shrimp. Still, this seafood may have a lingering smell, which still affects the taste.

In this article, I will go through all the elements of a shrimp’s taste and how to make it taste better.

What Does Shrimp Taste Like?

The taste of shrimp can be compared to that of lobster, but shrimp are tastier. So If you have ever tasted lobster, you can guess the taste of shrimp. Shrimp have a savory and mild salt flavor taste in them. They are also tender. Although shrimps taste like crawfish, the former still has a slight squid taste. The texture of shrimp is delicate and smooth.

Shrimp can be categorized as having a subtle or mild flavor, depending on the species. More giant shrimps tend to taste better because they have been allowed to mature before harvesting though this isn’t always the case. Some people will say that young shrimps taste better than older ones.

When alive, the shrimp’s color is typically deep grayish-brown on the back with a pinkish sheen on the ventral (bottom) side. However, once the shrimp is cooked, its color will change to pink or sometimes almost white. This color change when shrimp are cooked is because the hemocyanin in their blood is denatured, causing the color to change. This chemical change will also reflect in the taste of the shrimp. Raw and cooked shrimps taste differently.

Generally, shrimps taste like the sea, although this is a subjective aspect. Different people perceive tastes differently.

Bad cooked shrimp taste

There is a lot of controversy over the ‘best’ way to cook shrimp. The most common methods include boiling, grilling, frying, and baking. The larger the shrimp, the longer it takes for them to be ready (cook through).

Shrimp are prepared for cooking in several ways, including peeled and deveined, shelled or unshelled, and processed into various forms such as butterflied, kabobbed, skewered, stuffed, or whole. Shrimp may also be preserved by such methods as drying, salting, and pickling.

Badly cooked shrimps have an unpleasant smell. If the shrimp is overcooked or undercooked, it will have a mushy texture and a disagreeable taste. Shrimp that is not thoroughly cooked may contain bacteria and other pathogens. It is also possible to get sick from shrimp that have been recooked (especially microwaved), as the bacteria are not killed by the recooking process.

Consuming such shrimp may lead to food poisoning, bringing adverse health effects like diarrhea and dehydration.

How to make shrimp taste less fishy?

Naturally, the longer the shrimp is dead, the more it will taste like fish. Shrimp should be eaten as fresh as possible to avoid this problem. If that’s not possible, there are also several ways to prevent shrimp from tasting fishy:

Soaking in milk

First, you can soak the shrimp in milk for thirty minutes while they are raw. You should then rinse and dry them prior to cooking. The milk casein absorbs some TMA(trimethylamine) which produces a fishy smell. This process produces a shrimp that is sweet-smelling and clean flavored.

Soaking in acidic media

Second, you can add acidic ingredients to the shrimp when cooking it. Acidic (edible) solutions tend to mask fishy odors. Other acidic substances that you can use are lemon juice or vinegar, and tomatoes.

Cooking with stronger-flavored ingredients

Third, you can add ingredients that have a strong taste, such as garlic and spices. When you cook these ingredients with the shrimp, they will mask the fishy smell. You can also add ingredients such as onion and paprika to further suppress the fishy smell.

Spices and herbs

Fourth, you can put spices and herbs on the shrimp before cooking it. You can include salt and oil for better taste.

How to remove the fishy taste from shrimp

You can also cut fresh ginger into pieces and cook them with the shrimp. This method produces a shrimp that is sweet-smelling. As well, you can use spices, ginger, or onion juice.

Finally, you can also cut up fresh green chili peppers and put them in the shrimp before cooking. You can also use ingredients such as ginger, garlic, onion juice, and chili pepper powder.

How to get rid of iodine taste in shrimp?

Shrimps, just like the fish, will feed on algae or worms that usually are high in bromophenol. This chemical is what makes shrimps taste iodine-like.

The best way to get rid of this taste is to soak the shrimp in icy brine water for an hour before cooking. This is done to remove oceanic salinity. After soaking, one should rinse thoroughly with fresh running water to remove excess salt, and hence sodium, from the shrimp.

Another way to neutralize the iodine taste is by soaking in milk. Milk casein fills up with iodine, which is then diluted in the milk. After soaking for 30 minutes, you can rinse and pat dry before cooking.

Also, shrimps cooked in their shells tend to have a reduced iodine taste. This is because the shell absorbs the iodine taste.

Sometimes shrimps go bad in the store. The first thing you will notice is an ammonia-like smell. As you already know, such shrimps are unfit for consumption and may lead to food poisoning.

Shrimp that smells like ammonia will have soft shells or gills and a dull appearance. You should, therefore, avoid buying if you notice this smell and appearance.

What does raw shrimp taste like?

Raw shrimp will have a firm and bouncy texture. You can taste a slight saltiness in the raw shrimp, which is slightly more insipid than that of cooked shrimp. It is also more tender and delicate, with a fresh ocean taste and smell.

Some communities use raw liquid inside shrimp heads as a form of delicacy. However, in many cultures worldwide, shrimps are not eaten raw to avoid the high risks of food poisoning. Food poisoning may manifest in any or all of the following symptoms.

  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramp
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea

What are the health benefits of eating shrimp?

  1. It is highly nutritious and contains vital minerals like iodine, which is very essential for the proper functioning of thyroid glands and brain cells.
  2. Shrimp is proteinous in nature. Proteins are body-building elements and help our bodies to fight diseases.
  3. Shrimp is low in calories, cholesterol, and fat.
  4. It is rich in vitamin B12.
  5. Shrimps contain L-carnitine and omega-3 fatty acids. However,remember that we must eat food rich in omega-3 fatty acids only as a supplement and not as a replacement for all other foods. Other foods should still be consumed, but just less of them.

What are the benefits of consuming wild shrimps as opposed to farm-raised shrimps?

The primary difference between the two is that wild shrimp have higher nutritional value than farmed ones because of the loads of nutrients they get in the wild. This makes their bodies very strong and healthy, which can later produce a great source of nutrition for humans when consumed. In comparison, farm-raised ones are fat, have little nutritional value, and many people who consume them may suffer from food poisoning because of the chemicals they consume in farms.

Frequently asked questions

Why do shrimp taste like bleach?

Shrimp tastes like bleach, that is, chlorine if it is has gone bad.  Bacteria growth brings about the bleach taste. You should steer away from such shrimp because of health concerns.
Another reason could be the preservative used in shrimp before you bought it from the vendor. Such preservatives can make the shrimp taste like bleach.

Why do shrimp taste like iodine?

Shrimp taste like iodine because they feed on small microscopic organisms called algae, which contain a chemical compound known as bromophenol. This chemical gives the shrimp the iodine taste and flavor. The taste of iodine does not necessarily mean the shrimp is bad for consumption.

What does vegan shrimp taste like?

Vegan shrimp is a plant-based seafood shrimp that is highly nutritious and has very many health benefits. It comprises algae and other ocean plants. Other ingredients include konjac and fenugreek, which add flavor resembling that of a shrimp. It is generally processed in industry and finally packed. Vegan shrimps are very sweet and delicious. Konjac has many health benefits like;
– Lowering body cholesterol
– Reduces gut inflammation
– Have low calories hence healthier
The benefits of fenugreek include keeping the blood sugar levels and cholesterol in check. It also helps cancer, hypertension, diabetic and obese persons to cope.


From the above discussion, your questions on what shrimps taste like are now answered- they have a savory and mild salt flavor taste. The other taste which can be compared to that of shrimp is the taste of lobsters and crayfish. Although slightly different, it is less or more the same. Shrimps are highly nutritious and contain minerals and proteins necessary to our bodies for good growth and good health.

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