Yes, shrimp shells can be ground with a food processor, blender or even mortar and pestle. They can be ground to be used for other meals. So rather than throwing away your shrimp shell, you can use it to make other delicious meals.
Shrimp shells are very useful and edible.
Apart from food, shrimp shells can also be ground to fine table salt and also be used as fertilizer.
Individuals, companies and organizations are using ground shrimp shells more these days.
While some people might find this very strange, shrimp shells are quite edible and I have ground them a couple of times to use for different reasons;
- I use it in making tasty stock, think risotto, chowder and pan sauce.
- I also grind shrimp shells, roast them and mix them with sea salt. This is possible because when shrimp shells are grounded, they take the texture of fine smooth salt; when mixed with sea salt, they become salt-like and can be used as a flavour for any dish.
Why you should grind shrimp shells
Usually, when eating shrimp, we tend to throw the shell away after eating.
Some people suck the taste off the shell and then throw it away, not knowing that shrimp shells are actually edible.
Shrimp shells are okay to eat, especially when you fry them, the shells become crispy and chewable. But if you boil them, the shell might be quite unpleasant.
People grind shrimp shells for a lot of reasons.
- The sauce on shrimp shells, if combined together into a pot, is enough to make a lot of broth.
- Some people also grind shrimp shells, puree them to add to their risotto or soup.
A lot of people eat the different parts of shrimps like the tail, shell, bone and head.
This all depends on each individuals taste. But most times, different people grind shrimp shells for different reasons and different food recipes.
- Some people also grind shrimp shells to be used in preparing sauce.
How to grind shrimp shells
If you will like to try out the tasty salty ground shrimp shells, I’d like to give you the different ways I ground mine and how you can grind yours in a step by step process.
To grind and use as flavor; you should:
- Firstly, make sure you wash your shrimp really well because you will be using the shells and you don’t want it to affect the result after grinding your shells.
- Then use your hands to separate the shells from the shrimp and roast shrimp shells first by putting them in the oven to heat up. You can set the temperature to 400° or 500°.
- Leave in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. I usually leave mine somewhere in between, so the water can dry up and be well roasted.
- Wait till it is very dry and starts turning a bright pink colour. At this point, I’m already preparing to take it out of the oven. Get your oven gloves ready.
- Take your roasted shrimp shells out of the oven, then allow them to cool for some minutes. Make sure it is cool before you take the next step.
- When it is cool, add to your blender, mortar, or food processor and grind to a fine smooth salt-like powder. Usually, I like to use a food processor to grind shrimp shells, because my food processor allows me to pour roasted shrimp shells in large quantity and I just leave them to grind, then I check it every few minutes to make sure it has ground as much as I want.
- You can also use your blender if you intend to grind into a puree, depending on what you intend to use the ground shrimp shells for.
- Check to see if your shrimp shells are now as smooth as salt. Mix with sea salt for flavour.
You can also use ground shrimp shells as shrimp shell powder:
Shrimp shell powder can be used for a whole lot of things from flavour to crude chemical, fertilizer and animal feeds.
I will take you through the process by which you can grind shrimp shell to powder.
- Cook the whole shrimp, from the leg, body, head, tail and shell after washing and cleaning the shrimp thoroughly.
- Peel shrimp and leave it to dry off, so the water can be off totally. Sometimes, I add the other parts of shrimp to my shells before grinding them. Just to have varieties.
- When the shrimp shell is totally dry, grind by pouring in a food processor or blender and wait for it to grind to your preference.
- You might like your shrimp shells ground in different forms, you might prefer a fine smooth powder level of grounding, or a sharper texture where you still see particles of the shell. I ground my shrimp shell depending on what I want to use it for.
- Pour out grounded shrimp shells into a bowl to use.
Grinders that can be used to grind shrimp shells
I ground shrimp shells a lot and sometimes I ground with different grinders depending on how smooth I want it and how I want my shrimp shells to turn out.
I’d recommend some grinders you should get when grinding shrimp shells below:
KUPPET 3 in 1 stand mixer is a food mixer with many functions. It is a very good option for grinding shrimp shells with 6 level speed control function that allow grinding to take place quickly.
It also has a built-in mechanism that shuts down the grinder automatically when it overheats or threatens the safety of the user.
It has the capacity to take in many contents at once with its large bowl and it is also easy to pour our grounded content after use. It remains steady and does not move around while in use.
The GFYWZZ 1500W Grinder Machine is an iron galvanized material that crushes anything that is poured into it; whether grains, shells, wheat, rice, corns, etc.
Its speed and the grinding process can be directed and controlled.
It is mainly known for crushing and grinding anything put into it to powder. Itis highly recommended if you will like to crush a lot of shrimp shells.
If you need a stainless steel food processor that grinds and mixes food substances well, Cuisinart stainless steel food processor is one of the best grinders to use. Its blade is capable of chopping, shredding, mixing, slicing, and grinding.
Apart from shrimp shells, it is useful for grinding other food ingredients too; especially hard substances. It has an extra-large bowl that enables you to grind shrimp shell in large quantities.
The Premium 14-Cup Food Processor is a food chopper, kneader, shredder, and masher. It can do absolutely anything you want to do with your food.
It is multifunctional, versatile and large and has the capacity to take in a large amount of food production.
It is especially good for grinding shrimp shells because of its strong blades which are designed to grind hard substances.
It also has a speed and pulse function that allows you to control how fast the grinder works.
Ninja foodi is a 4 in 1 blender which is capable of crushing and processing food. It is a must use for crushing and grinding shrimp shells because of its high watt power motor that works at a high speed and does not shake or stop when hard substances are ground with it.
I especially love using this blender because of how easy it takes to clean it. All you need to clean it is to detach the various parts of the blender and wash. It is also dishwasher friendly.
It has a large capacity for large quantities of food substances and a controllable speed that allows you to set the speed limit to either high or low.
Other things you can do with cooked shrimp shells
It is important that you don’t trash or throw away your shrimp shells as soon as you’re done with the shrimp.
Shrimp shells are edible and can be used for different purposes.
Shrimp shells contain a lot of flavours, sugar and saltiness that can be extracted into water.
Here are some of the things you can use cooked shrimp shells for:
Shrimp shells can be used to prepare broth, stock, stew or sauce.
You can use cooked shrimp shells to make;
- Shrimp broth soup
- Shrimp stock
You can simmer or infuse shells in water to allow the flavour and sweetness in the shrimp to be extracted into the water if you leave it for a long time.
You can make a broth or stock by;
- Preparing your food seasonings, spices and ingredients and mixing them together in preparation for the cooking.
- Take your already cooked shrimp shell and add them with your mixed food ingredients.
- Add enough water but not too much and allow it to boil for a while. Wait till you see the bubbles coming up and the broth thickening.
- Sieve out broth without the shell.
There you have your broth or stock.
Shrimp shells can also be used as a seafood stock and even gravies.
Other things you can do with uncooked shrimp shells
Uncooked shrimp shells are very useful for other things. If you will not like to cook your shrimp shells, you can use the shell as compost.
Shrimp shells help the soil to grow because of the presence of fungi and bacteria in them.
So it can be composted. Note that, shrimp shells can be composted whether it is cooked or uncooked.
What do you do?
- Put your uncooked shrimp shells in a bowl or spacious bucket, you can also add the other parts of the shrimp if you want. Cover it up and take it outside to your garden
- Dig a hole. As deep as you’d like. Probably as deep as your bucket or bowl. I usually dig up to 15-inches.
- Place the bucket with the shrimp shell inside the hole you dug.
- Add any available waste from your trash into it.
- Allow it to remain there for more than a year, and keep adding to the pile of waste till the compost seasons.
- Use the compost for your garden.
Is it okay to eat the shell of a shrimp?
It is very healthy to eat the shell of a shrimp. It is not only healthy but also very tasty if seasoned well.
You might not like the taste if enough seasons and flavours are not added to it.
Shrimp shells can be used for a lot of things which makes them okay for consumption.
Several times I have prepared my soup, broth, gravy, stew and sauce with shrimp shell instead of using regular fish or meat.
Shrimp shell gives it a whole new taste. You can also eat shrimp shell by grinding.
Shrimp shells are not only edible but also provide health benefits.
It lowers cholesterol and improves cartilage, making the bone strong and healthy.
Boiled shrimp shells might not be so pleasant to eat, but when fried or roasted, they can become very crispy and delicious to eat.
The dish called the spicy garlic shrimp is a Chinese shrimp meal usually served with the shell and it is very delicious and edible to eat.
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Over time, a lot of people have not been aware that shrimp shells are okay for consumption.
It has been an unspoken rule that only shrimp should be eaten, but its head, tail, shells, and body should not be consumed.
But now you know that shrimp shells should be eaten; not only its shell is edible, but also other parts of the shrimp if cooked properly and when they are not cooked, they can also serve as compost, fertilizers and animal food if properly processed.
Shrimp shells are one food that should not be thrown into the trash in your home but rather you should explore the different ways by which you want to use it.
If you don’t want to eat it, you might as well make use of it in your garden, or you might as well make it into a tasty and savoury broth as I do.
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