US suppliers share new recipes, promotions for National Shrimp Day
Thursday, 10 May, is National Shrimp Day in the United States, with suppliers and sellers of the popular species taking the opportunity to encourage Americans to embrace recipes and meals highlighting the prized seafood.
Americans eat more shrimp than any other type of seafood, according to data from the National Fisheries Institute and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. To observe National Shrimp Day, which is considered an official holiday in the country, U.S. consumers are encouraged to eat their favorite shrimp dish and post about it on social media using the hashtag #NationalShrimpDay.
Shrimp can be prepared in many ways, according to the National Day Calendar, including via baking, boiling, broiling, sauteing, frying, and grilling. The seafood is low in calories and high in levels of omega-3s, calcium, iodine, and protein, and is viewed as good for circulatory health. The National Day Calendar website, which details all national holidays, lists the following shrimp dishes as some of the most popular in the United States:
- Seafood Gumbo: A stew or soup that probably originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. Seafood gumbo typically consists of a strongly flavored stock, shrimp and crab meat (sometimes oysters), a thickener, and seasoning vegetables. Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used: Okra, the Choctaw spice, file powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves), or roux, the French base made of flour and fat.
- Shrimp Cocktail: The Golden Gate was the first to serve this .50 cent shrimp cocktail in 1959. It is now a Las Vegas cliché. Called the “Original Shrimp Cocktail” on the menu, it is a favorite among tourists as well as the locals. The original Shrimp Cocktail consists of a regular-sized sundae glass filled with small salad shrimp and topped with a dollop of cocktail sauce.
- Shrimp DeJonghe: A specialty of Chicago, it is a casserole of whole, peeled shrimp blanketed in soft, garlic, sherry-laced bread crumbs. It is served as an appetizer or a main course. It originated in the late 19th or early 20th century at the DeJonghe’s Hotel and Restaurant.
- Shrimp Scampi: This dish has its own day on 29 April and is cooked in butter, garlic, lemon juice and white wine.
Several seafood suppliers are highlighting the holiday in their promotion efforts. New Orleans, Louisiana inspired food brand Zatarain's, which falls within the McCormick & Company (MKC) portfolio, is prompting consumers to incorporate bold flavors into their easy-to-prepare shrimp dishes on National Shrimp Day.
“Shrimp is the original fast food,” said New Orleans food ambassador, cookbook author, and award-winning radio host, Poppy Tooker, in a Zatarain's press release. “There is no better way to get a delicious meal on the table in under 25 minutes that has big flavor your whole family will love!”
The brand has provided a list of quick recipes to inspire consumers to think beyond “the same old chicken dish.” Among the recipes consumers are encouraged to try are: Slow Cooker Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya; Shrimp and Veggie Cilantro Lime Rice; Cilantro Lime Shrimp Bowls; Sheet Pan New Orleans BBQ Shrimp; Shrimp Boil Foil Packets; and Shrimp and Sausage Pastalaya. All recipe links can be found at the brand’s official website, https://www.mccormick.com/zatarains.
U.S. shrimp supplier SeaPak Shrimp & Seafood Co. is also enthusiastically promoting a variety of recipes and easy-prep products for the special holiday.
"National Shrimp Day is a great time for shrimp lovers everywhere to try something new and is also a fun way to introduce seafood to kids," said Leslie Harris Thomas, marketing manager at SeaPak. "We're constantly creating fun, flavorful recipes and pairing restaurant-quality taste with the convenience of the frozen food aisle. With cook and prep times under 20 minutes, our products are worth celebrating. They take the guesswork out of meal planning and allow families to relax more and stress less every day of the year."
The company suggests its SeaPak's Popcorn Shrimp and Shrimp Scampi, which can be found in the frozen aisle at participating retailer outlets. A recipe for SeaPak's Popcorn Shrimp Tot'chos – a spicy dish ideal for entertaining on for the holiday, according to the firm – can be found below:
Popcorn Shrimp Tot'chos with Avocado Cream Sauce (Serves: 6-8)
- 2 lb. bag of tater tots, cooked according to package instructions
- 1 package SeaPak Popcorn Shrimp, cooked according to package instructions
- 1 ½ tbsp paprika
- 1 cup avocado cream sauce (see directions below for making)
Avocado Cream Sauce:
- 1 large Hass avocado
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ bunch cilantro
- 2-3 tbsp water
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
- 2 oz. crumbled queso fresco
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- Cook SeaPak Popcorn Shrimp and tater tots according to package directions.
- While shrimp and tots are baking, make avocado cream sauce and prep the additional toppings. To make the cream sauce, scoop avocado flesh into a blender, along with sour cream, jalapeno and lime juice. Add cilantro (stem side down) into blender and pulse to combine ingredients. Add cumin and kosher salt and blend until uniform and creamy, adding 1 tbsp of water at a time, as needed, to help the sauce mixture blend better.
- Remove shrimp and tots from oven. Sprinkle tots with paprika and toss to coat evenly.
- Place tater tots on a serving platter and spoon half the avocado cream sauce over them. Top with the popcorn shrimp and sprinkle with toppings: tomato, crumbled queso fresco, cilantro and jalapeno.
- Serve immediately with remaining avocado cream sauce on the side.