What Does Shrimp Taste Like? (A Comprehensive Guide)

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Shrimp is the most popular seafood today, and there are many reasons why. (*) It’s affordable, low in calories, but most of all—it’s delicious! If you haven’t tried shrimps yet and you’re wondering what does shrimp taste like, we have just the answer you need!


Shrimps have a mild, buttery, sweet, and a bit salty taste. Its fantastic taste is complemented by a soft and tender texture when cooked correctly.

But, of course, the taste may vary depending on the kind of shrimp you’ll cook.

If you want to know the taste of shrimp in detail, keep on reading!

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What Does Shrimp Taste Like?

The flavor and texture of shrimp vary depending on its species and the preparation method used.

However, all shrimp species have a few similarities in taste. In general, shrimp have a mild flavor described as slightly sweet with hints of saltiness and is perfectly complemented with a juicy, tender, and slightly chewy texture.

Does shrimp have a fishy flavor? Unfortunately, shrimp doesn’t have the strong and overwhelming fishy taste that other shellfishes have.

Fun Fact: Shrimps and prawns are not the same but can be used interchangeably in the kitchen. However, it’s important to note that prawns are a bit sweeter and meatier than shrimps.

What Do the Different Shrimp Species Taste Like?

But if you want to know all the little details about shrimp’s flavor, then let’s look at some of the most popular shrimp species and how they taste. Check out our simple table below:

Shrimp SpeciesFlavorBest Cooking Idea
White ShrimpSweeter and NuttierWith Lemon and Garlic
Pink ShrimpMild and SweetBaking, Frying, Grilling, Steaming, Boiling, and Sautéing
Rock ShrimpButtery, Lobster-like FlavorPan-fried
Royal Red ShrimpRich and SweetBoiling and Steaming
Brown ShrimpIntense Mineral FlavorShrimp Boil
Tiger ShrimpBland and BrinyBlackened Shrimp
Blue ShrimpSlightly Sweet and Salty  Grilling

So What Kind of Shrimp Tastes The Best?

To tell you honestly, there’s no straightforward answer to this. As you may have noticed, the shrimp’s flavor ranges from sweet to salty, so that the answer would depend on your preference.

Aside from your personal preferences, you also need to consider the type of recipe and method of preparation you aim to do. With that said, just refer to our table when thinking of what type of shrimp you need to buy.

What are the Tips to Keep in Mind When Buying Shrimp?

If you want to make sure that you’ll buy the best-tasting shrimp for your dishes, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

Pay Attention to The Shrimp’s Texture, Appearance, and Smell.

To ensure that your shrimps are high quality, inspect them thoroughly. They must:

  • Have grayish green or pink to light pink translucent shells,
  • Be firm to touch,
  • Have an ocean-like or salty smell.

Additionally, avoid shrimps with blackened spots or edges on the shell and a strong fishy or ammonia-like odor.   

Buy Frozen Shrimp.

By frozen shrimp, we mean shrimps currently sold frozen at the grocery store. This is important because frozen shrimps are flash-frozen, meaning they are thrown into the ice as soon as they are out of the boat. This is done to ensure that the freshness of the shrimp will last for a long.

While fresh seems a better option, it’s harder to ensure they are fresh. There’s a chance that those were previously frozen shrimps that have already been thawed and then marketed as fresh.

That’s why you should go for fresh only if you’re sure the shrimps are fresh off-the-boat. Otherwise, you should choose frozen shrimp.

Pro Tip: When buying frozen shrimp, check the label. Make sure that it doesn’t list sodium tripolyphosphate as an additive.  

Look for Certifications.

In addition to the label, you should also look for certifications from the Marine Stewardship or the Wild American Shrimp Council. These departments inspect and certify that the fisheries the shrimps came from are properly managed.

You may also want to look for the Best Aquaculture Practices Label, which ensures that the shrimps are raised without antibiotics and following the local environmental regulations.

Final Words

What does shrimp taste like? Shrimp has a mild, buttery flavor with hints of subtle sweetness and slight saltiness. It has a soft and tender texture and a chewy bite when perfectly cooked.

Shrimp is loved all over the world because of its versatile taste. It goes well with anything and can be made more flavorful with different sauces.

However, you must make sure you buy high-quality shrimp to enjoy its delicious taste. With that said, make sure to follow the buying tips we’ve mentioned so that you can find the best-tasting shrimp for your dish.  

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