There are several different types of shrimp sauce recipes, although they tend to be broken down into two categories. There are shrimp dipping sauces and sauces made from shrimp. Both of these types of recipes use ingredients that compliment the flavor of shrimp, although dipping sauces tend to be spicier and more potent than pasta sauces and other sauces that feature shrimp as the primary flavor.
Shrimp sauces made for dipping tend to be made from tomato or horseradish, offering a tangy, spicy flavor. While pasta sauces and other types of shrimp sauce can often be spicy, they tend to either use oil or cream as a base. Jambalaya and some spaghetti sauces are exceptions to shrimp sauces using tomato sauce as a base.
Before you determine which type of shrimp sauce to make, you should consider the other aspects of your meal. First, you need to determine if your shrimp will be in the sauce, or on top of your sauce. The types of sauces you use can vary drastically based on this. As tomato sauce tends to overwhelm the more delicate flavor of shrimp, it tends to be used as an accent sauce, or used as a main sauce when grilled shrimp are placed on top of the pasta. When the shrimp is a part of the sauce, cream sauces tend to allow the natural flavors of the shrimp to come to the forefront.
A key point to remember when making shrimp sauce is that shrimp is very delicate. Unlike chicken or beef, shrimp suffers if it is overcooked. Where chicken or shrimp will fall into strips and the flavor will not be affected, shrimp are not nearly as durable. When you prepare your sauce, you will want to be extremely careful about how you cook your shrimp, as shrimp that is not properly cooked tends to have a rubbery or tough texture or may break apart into small pieces.
In addition to this, you need to be very careful with how you handle shrimp. Like chicken and beef, shrimp can pose health risks if it is not properly tended to. In some cases, shrimp can cause more problems because it is not eaten as often as chicken or beef, so the signs of shrimp going bad are easier to miss.
When preparing a shrimp sauce, you will want to make certain that you use only fresh ingredients. While frozen shrimp can be used for sauces, it will not have as robust a flavor as fresh shrimp.