How to Cook Shrimp
Scrumptious and incredibly versatile shrimp make a delightful addition to so many dishes. We'll key you in on everything you need to know about cooking with shrimp.
Shrimp make their way into all kinds of cuisine, from enticing appetizers such as Shrimp Scampi-Style to hearty pasta dishes such as Saucy Shrimp and Pasta. Pick your favorite shrimp recipe and get cooking with the tips that follow.
How to Choose Good Shrimp
Use these pointers when purchasing shrimp:
- Purchase 1-1/2 pounds of raw shrimp for each pound of shelled shrimp you need.
- The price of shrimp usually depends on the size of shrimp you are purchasing -- the bigger the shrimp, the higher the price and the fewer per pound.
- Look for firm, juicy shrimp with translucent, moist shells and without black spots (unless you are purchasing black tiger shrimp).
- Be sure the shrimp have a fresh, sealike scent. An ammonia odor indicates spoilage.
- Avoid shrimp with yellowish shells or dry spots, which could indicate freezer burn.
- The number of shrimp per pound increases as their size decreases. For instance, 16/20 shrimp are considered extra-large, meaning there are 16 to 20 shrimp per pound. With medium shrimp, you'll get 41 to 50 shrimp per pound.
Fresh or Frozen?
Because shrimp are bought and sold in large quantities, most of the shrimp available in U.S. supermarkets have been previously frozen. Shrimp freeze remarkably well. If the shrimp you purchase are frozen, place them in a sealed container in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. To speed up the thawing process, place the shrimp in a colander under cold running water for about 2 minutes. To retain their succulent texture, avoid thawing shrimp in warm water or at room temperature.
How to Store Fresh Shrimp
Fill a large bowl about half-full with ice. Nestle the shrimp into the ice, making sure the shrimp are not too close to the bottom of the bowl where melted water will accumulate. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to use, draining the water and adding more ice as needed.
How to Peel & Devein Shrimp
Step 1: Peel the shrimp
Most shrimp recipes call for peeled shrimp. Here's how to do it:
How to Cook Shrimp
Many recipes, such as Double-Quick Shrimp Cocktail, call for cooked shrimp. Here's how to do it:
How to Grill Shrimp
- To direct-grill shrimp, thread them onto skewers to make kabobs.
- Over medium coals, grill extra-large shrimp (20 per pound) for 6 to 8 minutes or jumbo shrimp (12 to 15 per pound) for 10 to 12 minutes, or until opaque.
- Check for a pink color on the outside. Cut into a skewered shrimp to make sure the flesh is opaque throughout.