We’re all becoming more aware of the catastrophic environmental impact that fishing has on our oceans. Shrimp trolling is one of the more harmful forms of fishing. Fishermen drag nets along the bottom of the sea, sorting out the shrimp and dumping the rest - called “bycatch” - overboard, an estimated 97% of which is dead! Fishing bycatch amounts to 63 billion pounds of dumping per year. Wild shrimping kills 6 pounds of sea life for every 1 pound of shrimp collected on average.
We think this is unconscionable. Enter TransparentSea Farms. An inland facility located in Downey operating a completely closed system with a carbon footprint less than 1% of traditional shrimp farming. This is no traditional shrimp farm. Typically, shrimp farms are located off the coast and cause detrimental damage to mangrove habitats. A series of filters enables the farm to reuse all of its water and to turn waste into valuable fertilizer. The aim is zero impact. By happy coincidence, minimal waste shrimp farming is not only infinitely better for our environment, it also produces some of the tastiest shrimp you have ever come across.
The shrimp have a bluish hue, almost transparent (wink), due to their diet of clean sustainable ocean protein. This translates into an incredibly sweet and savory flavor. These shrimp sing in ceviche or as crudo, and are equally craveable cooked. The flesh is firm with a perfect bite. The whole shells can be eaten, and the heads should absolutely be saved to make stocks with (or fried and eaten whole).
We are extremely excited to be one of the first retailers in the country to carry TransparentSea Farms shrimp. We love their mission and their values, we love that they are a local farm on the very cutting edge of sustainability. The future of the seafood industry lies in the hands of innovators like Steve, owner of TransparentSea Farms, and in the hands of consumers like you. We are ecstatic for you to try this incredible product.
Transparent Sea Farm Ceviche
We think one of the best ways to experience these shrimp is in a simple ceviche, especially if this is your first time trying them! This recipe screams of peak summer, but can be enjoyed all year round! We highly suggest finding the most ripe and Lucious tomatoes possible (We use Tutti-Frutti Farms located at Santa Monicas Farmer’s Market!) Jalapeños, shallots, and cucumbers take this recipe to the next level and we’ll be using all of them.
1 pound TransparentSea Farm jumbo shrimp
1 pound heirloom tomatoes
2 large fresh shallots
3 small Persian cucumbers
2 jalapeños (more if you like it spicy!)
1 head of cilantro
6 limes (we love Rick’s)
First, clean and peel the shrimp. Don’t be intimidated - these shrimp come fully intact, but trust us, you will want to save the heads and shells for making stocks or soups. Use a pair of small sharp kitchen shears (Joyce Chen is the gold standard) and remove the heads from the shrimp. Place in a bowl for later use. Run the scissors down the back of the shrimp in a straight line, cutting into the flesh about a millimeter deep. The peel should come away easily at this point. Place the peels in the same bowl as the heads. Reserve for stock. Once cut and peeled, the vein should be exposed. Simply remove this with the tip of the scissors, lightly scraping if necessary. This should also come away fairly easily. Discard veins.
Once the shrimp are free of their heads and completely clean, chop them into centimeter chunks and place them in a clean bowl. Squeeze your limes over the shrimp. The acid in the limes “cooks” the shrimp, killing bacteria. Let marinate in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the ceviche.
Stem and quarter your heirloom tomatoes. Do the same with your jalapeños. Give your cilantro a rough chop. Combine in a food processor and blend until you have the texture of a slightly chunky salsa. Pour into a clean bowl.
Slice your shallots very thinly, a mandolin is ideal for this. Separate the shallot rings and add them into your tomato mixture. Slice your cucumbers on the diagonal, quarter, and then add to the bowl as well.
Remove your marinated shrimp pieces from the fridge. Strain shrimp from lime juice and add to tomato mixture. Incorporate all ingredients well, and add in the lime juice from the marinade to taste. The ceviche should be tart but not overwhelmingly citrus forward. Add kosher salt to taste.
Serve with tostadas or tortilla chips. We love this ceviche with Tutu’s! Enjoy!