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whitecarnations's avatar

What does uncooked shrimp taste and feel like?

Asked by whitecarnations (1635 points ) March 24th, 2012

I’m slightly upset. A Mexican restaurant I usually go to for shrimp burritos may have just screwed me over. This time I ordered a shrimp quesadilla plate, and it wasn’t until my second half that I noticed the shrimp was a bit off.

Put simply there was no crunch biting into the shrimp. What it was though was soft, chewy and almost gooey (but mostly super soft and chewy minus a crunch). Very very very slight tint pink outlined the shrimp but it was definitely soft.

How should I go about bringing my unsatisfactory meal to their attention? It’s really impossible for me to have missed out on this texture the whole time and not notice it with my shrimp burritos. I have eaten there at least 30 times in my life. And you know, once in a while solo shrimps fall out of a burrito and those are really firm when I bite down and just overall had the essence of cooked shrimp.

Should I try to throw up the food I just had right now? For health risks? Thanks.

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14 Answers

Nullo's avatar

The firm crunch comes from the shell, IIRC. “Gooey” doesn’t strike me as a symptom of being underdone. But then, I’ve only ever had frozen shrimp.
Call your waiter and ask what the deal is. Be polite.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Besides regular shrimp I have eaten raw shrimp as sushi. That type is called “Ame ebi” literally translated as Sweet shrimp or candy shrimp. It has a sweeter taste, and a soft texture. It will look slightly translucent rather than the hard white of cooked shrimp. You might get a hint of a buttery mouth feel. Delicious. I like eating shrimp that is not boiled or cooked all the way. (Think medium rare to rare steak)

Do not throw up the food. If it is bad, nature will do it for you within a couple of hours. You can eat shrimp raw. Figure you just saved yourself a pile of money by eating at this fun, quirky place instead of going to an expensive Japanese sushi restaurant.

If you like the place and the people, next time you go there you can mention it in a friendly manner with no expectation of getting a free meal.

Bellatrix's avatar

We call them prawns, but prawn flesh isn’t crunchy. It is firm, white, meaty flesh.

If you have food poisoning, you will know in a few hours. It takes a few hours to go through your system though.

I would wait to see if you do get sick before calling the restaurant and accusing them of serving you off food.

marinelife's avatar

From your description, it does not sound like the shrimp was raw. It may have still been bad, however.

jca's avatar

I am hoping you feel ok by now. You can always post a review on a website, and talk about the food you had there.

creative1's avatar

It sounds from your post that it may have been undercooked or shrimp that was really old.

Hain_roo's avatar

I know what you mean by crunch but maybe ‘pop’ is better. The last time I bought cooked frozen shrimp they were just as you describe. Mushy. Yuck! And it’s happened before. I think it’s caused by overcooking.
The pink would indicate cooked, raw shrimp look like this.
I wouldn’t worry about it, but you should complain.

Hain_roo's avatar

You would know if it was raw, believe me.

whitecarnations's avatar

@Hain_roo There you go! Mushy is the word.

@marinelife I think it may have been “warm” or just left in a non cold area for a certain amount of time.

@LuckyGuy Yeah I know what raw shrimp is like especially on yummy sushi. But it’s also well prepared and not just like left out. For some reason I feel like these shrimp had been left out and then barely seared. Who knows maybe the chef had thrown the shrimp all in a microwave. Anyhow, I feel alright right now. No diarrhea or anything, yet! Thanks for the input however :D

gailcalled's avatar

“Waiter, please have a look at these shrimp. They appear either raw or barely uncooked. Would you please inform the chef and bring me another main course. Thank you.”

If that fails, “May I please talk to the maitre d’ or the manager? Thank you.”

No restaurant wants to be responsible for food poisoning and really likes feedback on tainted or raw or suspicious food.

As long as you are courteous, you are always the paying customer, who is always right or at least, worth listening to.

SmashTheState's avatar

@gailcalled Not all restaurants like receiving criticism, even when warranted. In a chain restaurant we were once served frozen shrimp in salad. Not just cold, but actually frozen solid. When my father politely brought it to the attention of the wait staff, he was told that he was making it up, and that what he described was impossible, at which point my father, who shares my sense of tact and decorum, speared a frozen shrimp on his fork, thrust it into the waiter’s face, and said, “If it’s not frozen, then YOU eat the fucking thing.”

We ended up leaving the restaurant without finishing or paying, with my father threatening to deck anyone who tried to stop us. His suitably scathing letter to the chain’s management brought nothing but a form letter apology.

So I would risk complaining only at a restaurant one would not be heartbroken never again to frequent.

gailcalled's avatar

@SmashTheState: See my “If that fails” suggestion above.

I have found that a honeyed tongue lets me say almost anything.

Haleth's avatar

@LuckyGuy Sweet shrimp are fantastic! Only one or two restaurants in my area offer it. One serves it with the shrimp head tempura’ed on the side. It’s so delicious.

That’s the only kind of raw shrimp I’ve ever eaten. They’re soft, but definitely not mushy- maybe like the texture of a nice avocado. Fresh shrimp should be firm, tender, and bright pink when they’re fully cooked. Once I accidentally ate cooked shrimp that were… not so fresh. They were plenty cooked, but still soft and mushy. Nobody got sick.

ETpro's avatar

Sashimi is fine with fish such as salmon, tuna, yellowtail (my personal favorite), swordfish, and talapia. Shrimp, crabs and lobsters, though, are scavengers. They should never be eaten raw. You survived this time. Don’t push your luck.

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