When it comes to cooking fish many people get spooked out because they worry that they are going to undercook it and make themselves or their guests ill. The truth is when it comes to cooking shrimp you can’t really go wrong as its one of the easiest things to cook.
However, one thing we must alert you to before cooking shrimp is that they tend to go off very quickly, and you should really be cooking them within the 24 hours of buying them from your local fishmonger or grocery store. If you have any doubts then buy frozen shrimps as you will be ok with these. Above all if your shrimp are beginning to give off an ammonia type smell then get rid of them as you don’t want to take the chances of being bad from them.
With that all said, you should also be careful when defrosting the frozen shrimps. The easiest way is to place them into a cold bowl of water, place the bowl in the sink and keep the tap running slowly and your shrimps will take literally minutes to defrost. Never take them straight to a pan as they will cook unevenly and there is no need to use a microwave.
There are 3 main popular ways of cooking shrimp that we are going to guide you through here. The first is boiling your shrimps.
After you have defrosted your shrimps which we showed you in the first couple of paragraphs in this article you will want to place them into a large saucepan that has been left to reach a rolling boil on high heat. You can cook them peeled or unpeeled there is no real difference at this stage.
Cook the shrimp for about 2 minutes or until you see small bubbles rise to the surface and then take the saucepan away from the heat and leave it on the counter. The heat that is in the saucepan will now cook the shrimp and you will see them turn a pink colour. This stage can take anything from 5 minutes to 10 minutes just depending on the size of the shrimp you are looking to cook.
Grab yourself a sieve and drain the water from the shrimp and then serve them up.
The second method is to grill the shrimp which will give them a real fantastic taste. You can either grill them individually or skewer them to make the process easier. Just make sure that if you aren’t using metal skewers that you bath the wooden ones in water so they don’t start burning under the heat of the grill.
Coat the shrimps with some olive oil, you can do this by hand or with a brush and then season them with salt and pepper if you wish.
Place them under the grill and cook them for about 4 minutes on each side or until they turn pink in colour, when they turn pink you know that they will be cooked.
Leave them for 5 minutes on the counter and then serve them up.
The final and everybody’s favourite way of cooking shrimp is to sauté them, and again you can do this with shells on or shells off its up to you.
Firstly, add some olive oil to a skillet and then heat it over a medium heat until the oil is hot and the shrimps are ready to be added. You can add some salt and pepper to your shrimps as you throw them into the pan, and you can even add some crushed garlic if you want to experiment with different flavours.
Generally you will want to cook the shrimp for about 3 minutes, and you want them to have enough room in the pan so all shrimps are touching the bottom of the skillet. Once the one side has been cooking for about 3 minutes you will then want to flip them over so the top side can cook for a further 3 minutes.
The shrimps will start to turn pink in colour and you will notice that the flesh will become opaque; this is when you know the shrimps are cooked and ready to be brought away from the heat. Again, leave them on the counter for around 5 minutes and then serve them to your guests.
Everyone has their own way of cooking, when it comes to taking the shells off it doesn’t matter from a cooking point of view but you might want to take them off before you serve them to your guests (unless you want your guests to peel them). Usually cooked shrimp are easier to peel and many say that cooking them with shells on preserves the flavour.