Forget jumbo shrimp, coconut shrimp, or even shrimp cocktail. When you want the best taste and flavor seafood has to offer, sometimes it’s best to just “think pink.”

Wild Oregon pink shrimp, that is.

Considered by many to be the mildest, sweetest, and most delicious of all the shrimp you can buy — with a taste that’s often compared to that of lobster — Oregon pink shrimp, which are sometimes referred to as “salad shrimp,” are a prolific variety of saltwater shrimp that lives in the area of the North Pacific Ocean off the Oregon coast.

pink shrimp in bowl

These cold, icy, pristine waters create a nutrient-rich ecosystem that ensures the shrimp develop a beautiful bright red color, a wonderful flavor, and an especially tender, medium-soft texture.

Harvested between April and October, pink shrimp from Vital Choice are certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. They come in a 2-pound resealable bag, so you can defrost and use only as many as you need per meal, and excel in a variety of different preparations. Of course, they’re great in a scampi or stir fry, but you can do so much more with these craveable crustaceans.

Our favorite pink shrimp dishes

For a richer, more indulgent meal, skip the butter sauce and make a shrimp Alfredo by incorporating cooked shrimp into a creamy homemade béchamel and serving it over tender fettuccine pasta.

Or, crush your next brunch by making a classic New Orleans po’ boy sandwich with fried shrimp, lettuce, tomatoes, and remoulade sauce on a hearty French roll.

Wild pink shrimp also make a decadent curry when paired with vegetables and a coconut milk base. If you want something a little more old-school Italian that’s ideal for any weeknight meal with the fam, sauté some savory wild pink shrimp and blanched asparagus and serve with pasta coated in a lemon and white wine sauce.

And when it comes to traditional comfort foods, nothing compares to wild pink shrimp and grits. Just sauté your shrimp lightly until their color changes from opaque to pink — that’s when you’ll know they’re done — and then serve over a bed of creamy, cheesy grits topped with a flavorful sauce of butter, garlic, herbs, and heavy cream. Delish!

For the best results whenever you use wild pink shrimp, always let them thaw overnight in the fridge, or in a bag under running tap water, before you use them. This ensures more even cooking and maximum flavor.

shop button grill

And don’t be afraid to experiment with seasonings and marinades. Parsley, cilantro, dill, tarragon, lemon, and chives all go exceptionally well with the delicate, sweet, slightly salty flavor of wild pink shrimp.

And perhaps, most important, whether you’re grilling, baking, or sautéing, remember that these small, tender shrimp cook very quickly, so keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t overcook or become too tough. Master that, and you’ve got an incredible meal waiting for you, no matter how you choose to use these little pink powerhouses!


Brian Good is a writer, editor, and project manager with more than 20 years experience in publishing. He's written for some of the country’s biggest magazine brands including Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Shape, Men's Health, Muscle & Fitness, US Weekly, AARP: The Magazine, and websites including Mashed, Health Digest, DiversityInc and others. Good specializes on topics including lifestyle, travel, pop culture, health, food and nutrition, spirits, products, politics, and activism.

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