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A number of the larger species, including the white shrimp Penaeus setiferus, are caught commercially and used for food. Recipes utilizing shrimp form part of the cuisine of many cultures: examples include jambalaya, okonomiyaki, poon choi, bagoong, Kerala and scampi.
Preparing shrimp for consumption usually involves removing the shell, tail, and "sand vein" (a euphemism for digestive tract). As with other seafood, shrimp is high in calcium, protein and low in food energy.
Shrimp and prawns are versatile ingredients, and are often used as an accompaniment to fried rice. Common methods of preparation include baking, boiling and frying. As stated in the movie Forrest Gump:
"Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sautee it. There's, um, shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. There's pineapple shrimp and lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich..."
Prawns are a widely consumed and enjoyed form of seafood seen in Chinese, Japanese, American, Indian, and French-Cajun cuisines. Dishes using prawns in Chinese cuisine include kung-po prawns (a spicy dish containing chile peppers and peanuts), sweet and sour prawns (a dish composed of sweet sauce tossed with prawns, bell peppers, onions, and pineapple), and fried king prawns in batter. In Japanese cuisine dishes that use prawns include tempura and sushi. In French-Cajun and southern American cuisines prawns are commonly fried in a cornmeal or beer batter. These deep fried prawns are frequently served along side hushpuppies, french fries, macaroni and cheese, southern-style coleslaw, collard greens, and corn-on-the-cob. Fried prawns are also placed on a French-style bun with a spicy sauce (po-boys). The most frequent Cajun use of prawns is in gumbos and jambalaya. In Indian cuisine prawns are most frequently used in curries. Depending on the state in India you are in, is depending on the ingredents used and the method of cooking.
To prepare the prawns for cooking it is always a wise idea to "de-vein" them by slicing their backs down to the tail, then taking off the dark vein running down the back. This helps the texture of the prawns and makes them more enjoyable.
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