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16 July 2011


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Hmmm, the very first time I ate shrimp it was shells and all (whiskey was involved).

Thankfully, before I could repeat the performance a helpful lady pointed out that they should be peeled. Shrimp heads? Oooh, I don't THINK so.


Your question intrigued me - particularly as I have a large bag of the creatures in my fridge needing beheading. Usually I use them to make stock ... But tomorrow I'm going to be trying out the recipe found at the URI below:


Patrick Lang


I paid PC's sister 40 dollars to eat her first raw poyster. Now, I have to get her brother to try fried shrimp heads. pl


I watched "America's Test Kitchen" this morning. Unfortunately, no shrimp head recipes were mentioned. But good luck with them anyway. Enjoy!


Never cared for shrimp, I'm a lobster man. I can eat a ton of lobster. My wife loves shrimp.

Enjoy your shrimp and tuna steak. :)

Nancy K

I like the whole shrimp deep fried and salted with chopped fresh hot chilis on top. I order this in China Town often, but have never tried making it on my own. The heads are very good this way.

Mark Logan

Never heard of eating the heads before. Gonna have to try it. Someday...


Garlic, curry, soy sauce.


The shrimp heads are great for making shrimp creole. The fat resides in the heads and if you simmer and make a stock and mix it with crushed or fresh skinned and seeded maters. . . .Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Maureen Lang

Eating shrimp heads? I seem to remember Papa Hemingway reportedly doing something like that down in the Keys. Personally I'm with markfromireland & use shrimp heads for making fish stock.

My husband, on the other hand, has been known to eat the critters live at a sushi place down on Lankershim Blvd. in NoHo- this dubious delicacy is called Sweet Shrimp on their menu.

The Twisted Genius

That part of DC always reminds me a little of home. For the shrimp heads, my first instinct is to lightly bread 'em and fry 'em. I don't think there's anything that can't be eaten after being breaded and fried. Markfromireland's recipe suggesting removing the shells from the heads does sound like a good idea... unless you're feeding a likkered up Basilisk. I always marveled at my parents eating the soft shell crab sandwiches at a shoreside seafood stand in East Haven, Connecticut. I and my brothers and sisters always had the fried clams, with stomachs intact of course. The big treat at the kids table during Wigilia was always big piles of fried smelts... the whole smelts.

Patrick Lang


John does that? I AM impressed. pl

Patrick Lang


The Lebanese (in Lebanon) eat little fishies called "bizri" (bait fish)These little guys are about an inch and a half long. They dip them out of a fish tank with an aquarium net roll them around in the breading and then - Bam! in the frier. Well, at least they don't know it's coming. They come out just like little smelts, crispy and wonderful, great with a cold beer. The Shia won't eat them. Why? I don't know. pl


Colonel Lang,

Steamed,they are perfectly matched , with raw baluts and poi.

USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96

Maureen Lang


When Chiba (the sushi bar down on Lankershim near Saticoy) has Sweet Shrimp on the menu, the chef will pull out a bucket & offer the live shrimp to you served one of two ways: he'll quickly slice the heads off & you get a wriggling mass of heads & bodies in a bowl with choice of sauces, or you order the shrimp intact & bite the heads off yourself.

I believe a certain amount of Sapporo intake is also usually involved.


Well, I'm wavering now, the recipe sounds pretty good.

BTW, if that offer is still on for eating oysters, please cut me in. I'll start with a dozen.


Mj--that's absolutely right. You can make the best stock in the world for creole/cajun by using shrimp heads and shells--great for shrimp creole like you say, plus crawfish etouffe, gumbo, jambalaya, and so on. A good stock is the key to so much good cooking--and it's just about idiot proof and cheap with scraps, bones, shells, etc.

In Louisiana, we'd suck on the crawfish heads, but shrimp heads for eating? Don't know about that one. Would sure try it though.

Patrick Lang





I beg to report success. That recipe I linked to above is a good one.

I was a but dubious about the batter but in fact it turned out very light and palatable.

What didn't turn out at all were the photos we took of the process.



Peeled and deveined, then sauté in butter and Old Bay (not too heavy). When they just turn white turn 'em over. About 2 minutes a side. A cold Tri-City Brewings's Hell's Half Mile to wash them down with, great in weather like this. Don't know about the heads.


Col - And to keep it local put some mumbo sauce on them.



Just make sure you ask and your shrimp isn't from China--not safe!

Bill Hatch


You're revealing one of my best kept secrets. My Chinese-American wife introduced me to deep-fried shrimp heads. Believe it or not, I now have my Tarheel family addicted.

Simply batter your shrimp heads to taste (tempura, cajun, or Old Bay). I simply mix flour, cornmeal & seasoning in a plastic bag & shake. Then deep-fry in 350-375 degree grease. I generally over cook the shrimp heads to a golden brown so that I have a crisp, nutty flavored dish. Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.




Use corn flour instead of corn meal.


Fried Prawn Heads - Bengali Style. (Freshwater prawns available in any Asian market selling Sea food.

Marinate the heads in

1/2 Tsp of Turmeric
1 tsp of Garlic paste
1/2 Tsp of red Cayenne Pepper Powder

Deep fry in 4 table spoons of Mustard Oil (available in any Indian Grocery) or Canola Oil. Time to fry 5-6 minutes

Serve over plain Rice!

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