Identification & Biology: Black tiger shrimp get their name from the dark stripes that encircle the shell of the black tiger. Black tiger shrimp are also known as giant tiger prawns, or tigers. When cooked, tiger shrimp meat turns white and the black stripes on the shell turn bright red. This is one of the most popular varieties of shrimp on the Asian, European, and American markets.
Capture/Aquaculture: Indopacific region, India, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, China, Korea, Japan, East African coast…
Extensively farmed throughout Asia, shrimp farms are starting to appear in Hawaii and South and North America as well. Some tiger shrimp are found in the wild, but the difference between the two is undetectable. Average sizes are 9 to 11 inches. They are marketed frozen, raw with the shell on, peeled, tail on or cooked, tail on or off.
*Black spots, called melanosis, indicate the shell and meat has begun to decay. This is a sign of poor handling. Shrimp need to be immediately processed or frozen after harvest to maintain freshness.
Market Description: Tiger shrimp meat tends to be softer than the domestic gulf shrimp. They have a mild, somewhat bland taste.
Recommended Preparation: With a beautiful color once cooked, tigers are great for shrimp cocktail. Eaten as cooked shrimp or prawn, sometimes in batter as scampi, and also cooked in mixed seafood dishes such as paella and often in more general dishes such as Chinese special fried rice.