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What Are Rock Shrimp? (And How to Best Cook Them)

What Are Rock Shrimp? (And How to Best Cook Them)

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Rock Shrimp, otherwise known as Sicyonia Brevirostris or brown rock shrimp, get their name from there outer shell which is literally known to be as hard as a rock.

With over 300 different kinds of shrimp in the world, what makes the rock shrimp so special in the culinary world? They are a special delight in the culinary world because, surprisingly, they have a very similar taste to lobster.

Not only do they have a lobster taste but if you are just looking at the tail one could easily make the mistake of thinking it was a small lobster.

The brown rock shrimp can be found all over the ocean. They are usually found in deep but warm waters off the coast lines. Due to the depth they like in the ocean they aren’t a farmed shrimp. They are freshly caught in which they are usually harvested out of the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico.

Rock shrimp can also be a nice piece of meat as they can get up to about 6 inches in length but the easier to catch rock shrimp are only 2 inches long as they are more easily found in shallower waters.

As noted by Wikipedia, Rock shrimp are also in the same family as the brown, pink and white gulf shrimp in which they also have a short life span of just short of two years.

How to Clean Rock Shrimp?

Cleaning rock shrimp is very similar to cleaning regular shrimp. With rock shrimp you are basically just dealing with a harder exterior shell as mentioned above.

Start out by simply pulling the head off in which you’ll want to pull all the intestines that you can when doing so.

You will then take a knife and cut the shrimp down the inside of the shrimp which can be difficult with the hardness of the exterior shells (the professionals actually have a machine they run the rock shrimp through to crack the shells prior to removing the vein).

This will assist you in cracking the shell while also exposing the rest of the shrimps intestine, in which you will want to pull the remaining out. Once the head is off, the vein is out and the shell is removed the rock shrimp is ready to be cooked.

Wild Ocean has a great video on how to best clean rock shrimp which can be viewed here.

How to Cook Rock Shrimp?

Cooking rock shrimp is simply endless as they can be prepared basically anyway a normal shrimp can be (fried, baked, grilled, marinated, steamed…). However, the best way to cook rock shrimp is by broiling them.

If purchased frozen simply thaw them out prior to cooking them (fresh catch is always also preferred).

Get a large pot of water boiling. This can either be done on the stove top or in a dutch oven on the Big Green Egg.

Once the water is boiling proceed with throwing the rock shrimp in. Wait about two and a half to three minutes and they are done.

They should temp like a regular shrimp with an internal temperature of 145 degrees in which they will have the same coloring as a lobster tail (white with some red markings).

Of course, you can dip these in some melted butter in which you could add some minced garlic if you are looking for a little more flavor as well.


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