How to Cook Shrimp

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There are many ways to enjoy shrimp: in tacos, pasta, and salads—just to name a few. And you can’t forget the ever-present party food Shrimp Cocktail. This is a classic reason. Everyone loves a little cocktail sauce! Learning how to cook shrimp and how to gut shrimp is essential for every home cook. We’ll show you the most common ways to prepare one of our favorite crustaceans: frying, roasting, boiling, steaming and roasting. Time to hit your local seafood market because you don’t want to miss this one!

Frozen Shrimp:

If you want to use frozen shrimp, be sure to let the shrimp thaw completely before cooking. You can thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or soak the ziplock bag in a bowl filled with cold water for 10-20 minutes.

How to De-Prime the Shrimp:

Not only will you save a little money if you learn how to de-shell your own shrimp, but it’s an important skill any chef must learn! Veins are edible, but most people don’t like the gritty texture.

Start by rinsing the raw shrimp under cold water with a slotted spoon. If you want to cook the shellfish out of the shell, just run the tip of the knife across the back of the shrimp. Remember: not all raw shrimp have blood vessels! Check to see if yours has it, then use your knife to pull it out.

If you’re wondering how to cook shrimp without their shells, start by peeling them. Peel off the outer shell before scoring a line through the back with a knife. Shelling is very easy! Starting with the legs, use your fingers to gently peel off the shell. The vein is then removed as described above.

Which cooking method should I use?

  • saute: Ideal for pasta and sauces. Be careful not to overcook.
  • bake: Ideal for pasta and sauces. Delivers a slightly sweet taste and soft texture.
  • boiling: Best for cooking in large quantities, especially shrimp cocktails.
  • Steam: Produces the silkiest and softest finish and helps lock in flavor. Use in pasta, salads and sauces.

There really isn’t any specific advantage of one cooking method over another. It all depends on your personal preference, the recipes you make, your time frame, and the equipment you need. If you’re short on time, it takes about 2 minutes to sauté and cook. Bakes and grills take longer, and the cook time only takes about 10 minutes. The steamed ones fell somewhere in the middle and took about 8 minutes to cook.

Bonus Grilling Instructions:

Preheat an outdoor grill to high, about 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Season shrimp as desired and soak wooden skewers in water (if using) for 10 minutes. Either cook the shrimp on skewers, or place the shrimp individually on the grill. If you’re not threading your shrimp on skewers, make sure yours are large enough that they won’t fall off the grill. Cook the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until they are no longer translucent.

Ice bath:

If you want to stop the cooking process and quickly cool your shrimp, you can always soak the cooked shrimp in an ice bath immediately after using the boiling or steaming method. Simply fill a bowl with water and ice, then add the shrimp until chilled.

Service suggestion:

There are so many ways to garnish your shrimp with sauces, dressings, pasta and even Mexican food! Whether you like cajun flavors, traditional shrimp, or amazingly creamy pasta, one of these shrimp recipes is for you!

If you’re wondering what to put on the side of your main shrimp dish: