Market Name: Shrimp
Scientific Name: Penaeus vannamei; P. stylirostris
Common Name: White-leg, Mexican white, Pacific white, Ecuadoran white; blue shrimp, steelies
Flavor: Mild
Texture: Medium/Firm

Pacific white shrimp are among the most widely cultivated shrimp in the world. This is due mainly to ease of cultivation and rapid growth rate; harvesting begins after 120 days. The two warmwater species known as Pacific whites are Penaeus vanna mei, found from Sonora, Mexico, to northern Peru, and P. stylirostris, which ranges from Baja, California to Peru. Both are also harvested from the wild by trawlers, though the volume of farmed is considerably greater than trawl-caught supplies — especially vannamei from Ecuador. In the United States, Pacific whites are farmed in Texas and South Carolina. Similar to Gulf white shrimp, both of these Pacific species can reach about 9 inches. IQF and block-frozen whole shrimp are becoming more popular as farmers look to pass processing costs on to end-users. Quality of pond-raised Pacific white shrimp is normally high, owing to strict controls and the lack of at-sea time that accompanies shrimp harvested from the wild.

Product Profile:
Pacific white shrimp is firm, sweet and mild. The stylirostris is a bit more salty than the vannamei species. Though it may be difficult to tell them from Gulf whites, if you look closely, you’ll see that P. vannamei are creamy white, while Gulf whites are grayish-white. The stylirostris are often white with a greenish or bluish tint. Raw meat of both species is white but turns whitish pink when cooked. Peeled shrimp are usually dipped in phosphates to minimize drip loss. It’s a standard practice, as long as the product isn’t oversoaked, and should be stated on the label. Thawed shrimp that feels “soapy” has been soaked too long and has absorbed excess water.

You Should Know:
Mexico is one of the few countries to separate wild-run shrimp into two grades. No. 1’s are Mexico’s top-grade Pacific whites; they should have no black spots (melanosis), and there should be no broken pieces.

Cooking Tips:
Try simmering shrimp in beer, with celery and garlic. For a classic, use large Pacific white shrimp to make Scampi in Wine. Add one finely chopped garlic clove and 2 teaspoons of finely chopped parsley to 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Brown lightly. Add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, 1/3 cup of dry white wine and salt and pepper, to taste. Add 1 pound of shelled, deveined shrimp. Sauté quickly, stirring until done.

Cooking Methods: Boil,Broil,Grill,Saute',Steam

Substitutions: Small lobster tails, Chinese white shrimp, Crawfish tails

Primary Product Forms:
Frozen: Whole (raw or cooked) Blocks IQF Cooked headless Split, butterfly, fantail Pieces
Value-Added: Breaded Prepared entrées

Global Supply: