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Learn how to wash, prepare, and cook shrimp in four different and delicious ways! Each cooking method will lend a different texture and flavor to your prawns. We’re also showing you some important tips to keep in mind while cooking shrimp at home.

Cooked shrimp.

There are so many different ways to enjoy shrimp: in tacos, in pasta, and in salads – to name a few. And you can’t forget about the ever-present party food shrimp cocktail. It’s a classic for a reason. Everyone loves a little cocktail sauce! Learning how to cook shrimp and how to devein shrimp is essential for every at-home chef. We’re showing you the most common ways to prepare one of our favorite crustaceans: sautéed, roasted, boiled, steamed, and grilled. It’s time to hit up your local seafood market, because you do not want to miss this!

Frozen Shrimp: 

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

How to Devein Shrimp:

If you learn how to devein shrimp yourself, you’ll not only be able to save a little money, but it’s also an important skill for any chef to learn! The veins are edible, but most people don’t like the gritty texture.

Start by rinsing your raw shrimp in a colander under cold water. If you’d like to cook your shellfish with the shell on, simply draw a knife across the back of the prawn using the tip of your knife. Remember: not all raw shrimp have veins! Check to see if yours does and pull it out using your knife. 

If you’re wondering how to cook shrimp without their shell, start by deveining them first. Peel off the shell before you draw a line with your knife through the back. Shelling is very easy! Start with the legs, and gently peel off the outer shell with your fingers. Then remove the vein as indicated above. 

Which Cooking Method Should I Use?

  • Sautéing: ideal for pasta and sauces. Be careful not to overcook.
  • Rosting: ideal for pasta and sauces. Gives a slightly sweet taste and a soft texture.
  • Boiling: best for cooking large quantities, especially shrimp cocktail.
  • Steaming: produces the silkiest and most tender results, and helps to lock in flavor. Use in pasta, salad, and sauces.

There really aren’t any specific advantages to one cooking method over another. It all just depends on your personal preference, the recipe you’re making, your time frame, as well as the equipment required. If you’re short on time, sautéing and boiling takes just about 2-minutes. Roasting and grilling take a little bit longer, with the cook time clocking in at just about 10-minutes. Steamed lands somewhere in the middle, and takes about 8-minutes to cook.

Bonus Grilling Instructions: 

Preheat an outdoor grill to high heat, about 500 degrees F. Season shrimp as desired and soak wooden skewers in water, if using, 10 minutes. Either thread shrimp onto skewers to cook, or place the shrimp directly on the grill individually. Be sure that your shrimp are large enough to not fall through the grates if you are not threading them on a skewer. Cook 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 cool your shrimp quickly, you can always dunk your cooked shrimp in an ice bath immediately after using the boiling or steaming method. Simply fill a bowl with water and ice cubes and add your shrimp until cooled. 

Serving Suggestions: 

There are so many ways to dress up your shrimp with sauces, seasonings, in pastas, and even Mexican food! Whether you prefer cajun flavors, traditional shrimp scampi, or an amazing creamy pasta dish, one of these methods to prepare shrimp will work for you!

If you are wondering what to serve on the side of your main shrimp course:

Bowls of cooked shrimp.

Storage and Reheating Instructions 

You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze it! Place the shrimp in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Then, wrap the container or bag tightly with aluminum foil. It will keep in the freezer for up to 10-12 months.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious shrimp recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Bowls of cooked shrimp.
Learn how to wash, prepare, and cook shrimp in four different and delicious ways! Each cooking method will lend a different texture and flavor to your prawns. We're also showing you some important tips to keep in mind while cooking shrimp at home.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound raw shrimp

Sauteed Shrimp

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Roasted Shrimp

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Boiled Shrimp

  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Steamed Shrimp

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
Instructions

Shrimp Preparation

  • Shrimp can be purchased in several forms. If your shrimp is purchased raw with the shell on it will need to be peeled and most likely, also deveined. Rinse shrimp thoroughly. Use a sharp knife to slice 1/4 inch into the back of the raw shrimp (the outer edge of the curve). This will cut into the shell and make it easy to slip off, as well as expose the vein, if there is one. If there is a black, visible vein, use the sharp tip of your knife to gently lift it out of the shrimp and discard it. Once the vein is removed you can either peel the shrimp immediately or leave it on for cooking, which can add more flavor. Whichever you decide to do, the peel should easily slip off when given a little tug. Peel off any remaining shell and discard or save and freeze for making seafood stock later. 

Sauteed Shrimp

  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add in shrimp. Season as desired. Stir continuously until shrimp just turns pink, about 2 minutes.

Roasted Shrimp

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Season shrimp as desired or use 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper.
  • Spread seasoned shrimp out into an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven just until shrimp turns pink, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Boiled Shrimp

  • Fill a small pot or large saucepan with water. If you want to add flavor to your water, squeeze the juice of 1 large lemon into the water and add in the lemon itself. Season the water with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Once boiling, add in the shrimp. Cook 2 to 2 1/2 minutes until shrimp turn pink and are no longer translucent. Drain the shrimp and immediately transfer to a bowl full of ice and water to stop the cooking process and cool quickly. 

Steamed Shrimp

  • Pour 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup white vinegar into a saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Bring to a boil.
  • Season shrimp as desired and place into steamer basket. Steam, covered, until shrimp just turns pink, about 4 to 6 minutes.

Grilled Shrimp

  • Preheat an outdoor grill to high heat, about 500 degrees F. Season shrimp as desired and soak wooden skewers in water, if using, 10 minutes. Either thread shrimp onto skewers to cook, or place the shrimp directly on the grill individually. Be sure that your shrimp are large enough to not fall through the grates if you are not threading them on a skewer. Cook shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes per side until they are no longer translucent.
Notes
Raw shrimp is often sold with the shells and tail on, and sometimes may include the head and legs. It needs to be deveined before cooking which is a quick process. You can also shell your shrimp at the same time. We prefer leaving the shell on for cooking as it adds more flavor. Once removed, shells can be frozen and saved for making a seafood broth or stock. 
Shrimp tails can be removed for serving, if desired. 
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