Tips For Cooking the Best Shrimp Recipes Ever

America’s favorite seafood is shrimp. The crustaceans have a moderate flavor and meaty texture and may be prepared in a variety of ways in just a few minutes. One of the simplest dishes to cook is shrimp. While shrimp is a versatile food, getting the correct flavor and texture can be difficult. Here are some methods for preparing the perfect shrimp to make the ultimate shrimp dish.


When purchasing shrimp, consider both the quality and the source. The fresh catch of the day can be costly and inconvenient. You can buy frozen shrimp to acquire fresh shrimp. Frozen shrimp is frozen as soon as it is collected, preserving its fresh flavor. You can also grill or sauté shrimp with other vegetables, such as spinach when preparing them. You can also season the shrimp with herbs and spices before cooking them, according to your preferences.

What is Shrimp?

Shrimp are a species of shellfish that may be found all over the world but are particularly popular in the United States. Although most shrimp species are accustomed to living in the sea, several shrimp can also be found in freshwater. Shrimp range in size from approximately the size of a quarter to “giant” shrimp that can grow to be several inches long. It gives anything it’s cooked with a slightly sweet, briny, and soft flavor, and its adaptability is part of its appeal. It can be poached, fried, fermented, broiled, grilled, sautéed, stir-fried, and used in soups, salads, spaghetti, Thai curries, kebabs, and appetizers, among other things.

Americans adore shrimp, eating nearly a billion pounds per year and importing roughly 760,000 tons in 2019. China is the world’s largest shrimp exporter. It’s not the cheapest protein in the shop, like many other forms of seafood and shellfish, which makes it feel a little fancy when you’re cooking with it and eating it. A small amount of shrimp goes a long way, and it freezes nicely until you’re ready to use it, so it’s a small price to pay for convenience.

How to Cooking Shrimp?

Whether you sauté it in a pan, broil it on a skewer, or toss it into a soup, shrimp cooks rapidly. It doesn’t take long for it to change color from grey to pink and become chewable. This is true whether you start with fresh or frozen shrimp; frozen shrimp can be defrosted in its packaging in the fridge or by running cold water over it in a strainer until it’s thawed enough to handle. You can pick on shrimp for supper, take it out of the freezer, and prepare it that night.

You can buy shrimp that have been peeled and deveined, which means the exterior crunchy shell has been removed, as well as the “vein,” which is actually its digestive tract and can get gritty with sand. However, some grilling shrimp recipes recommend using unpeeled shrimp with the shells intact to save the shrimp from drying out too rapidly. Shrimp shells also provide a lot of taste, and some recipes recommend leaving them on for that reason. Many home cooks, on the other hand, are impatient and will go right to the bag of peeled and deveined shrimp in their grocery cart.

Tips for Cooking the Best Shrimp Recipes Ever

Here are 7 tips for cooking the best shrimp recipes ever:

What to Buy: Fresh or Frozen Shrimp

When you buy frozen shrimp in the shell and thaw them yourself when you’re ready, you’ll save money and have more flexibility. The majority of raw shrimp in your market’s fresh fish area has been frozen and thawed, and their shelf life is limited. If you’re cooking them right away, this is a good option, although you’ll pay more per pound. When it comes to frozen shrimp, shelled shrimp always have a better flavor and texture than peeled and deveined shrimp.

What Size Shrimp to Buy

Although shrimp are classified as tiny, medium, large, extra-large, jumbo, and enormous, no one in the shrimp industry regulates these terminologies. Here’s a better approach to figure out what you’ll get: On the bag, look for the count numbers (such as 21/25). It informs you how many shrimp are in a one-pound package on average.

  • 21/25 means you’ll get 21 to 25 shrimp. The smaller the number, the larger the shrimp.
  • Between 16 to 30 shrimp per pound is an ideal range for most recipes.
  • For grilling, always go for larger shrimp (smaller count), such as U/15. The “U” means there are under 15 shrimp per pound.
  • Figure on buying about 1/2 pound of shrimp per person for a main-course serving.

How to Defrost Shrimp

There are two safe ways to defrost shrimp: 1) Refrigerate for approximately 24 hours per pound. 2) In a colander in the sink, quickly under cold running water. At room temperature, never. Warm water should never be used.

How to Peel and Clean Shrimp?

You can cook shrimp with or without the shell. If you wish to peel the shell off, start by removing the legs, and the shell will easily peel away. Depending on your recipe, you can leave the shell on the tailor and remove it.
A dark threadlike digestive tube (called vein) runs along the bent backs of shrimp. You must remove this after freezing and before cooking shrimp, or your meal may contain a bit of gritty grit.

Here’s how to get rid of that vein, either with or without removing the tasty shell: If you’re going to cook the shrimp in the shell, cut through the shell from the head to the tail with kitchen scissors or a tiny sharp knife, then lift out the vein with the scissors or knife. Simply cut a slit along the back and remove the vein if you’ve already removed the shell. If any sand residue remains, simply rinse it away under cold running water.

What to do with Shrimp Shells

While feasible, cook in the shell, especially when grilling. The shells enhance the flavor of the meat while also protecting it from overcooking. Apart from that, sitting around a table peeling and eating shrimp is already a celebration. Save the shells and freeze them to make seafood stock for chowders and stews if you chose to peel the shrimp before boiling. If you’re serving shrimp with a dip, keep the shell on the tail to use as a handle.

How Long to Marinate Shrimp

It is determined by the marinade. If the fruit is acidic (lemon, lime, orange, etc. ), 30 minutes should suffice. If you cook it any longer, the acid will begin to break down the delicate shrimp meat, turning it mushy. You could marinate for an hour or more if your marinade is non-acidic (olive oil, garlic, herbs). In either scenario, marinate in the refrigerator until ready to use.

How Long to Cook Shrimp

Do not turn away! You can’t pay attention to anything else while the shrimp are cooking because they cook so quickly. Even the largest shrimp begin to become reddish and curl up into a C shape after only a few minutes. They’re almost done when that happens. If you’re grilling skewered shrimp, you’ll want to focus on the color rather than the curl. Cut into a couple of test shrimp on a separate skewer.

What are the Mistakes to Avoid in Cooking Shrimp?

Make sure you’re not doing one of these culinary mistakes when cooking shrimp at home for the best results.

You Bought “Fresh” Shrimp

Yes, live shrimp purchased from a tank or a boat are fresher than frozen shrimp. However, the shrimp in the seafood cabinet, which are laying atop a layer of ice, are not actually fresh. They were originally frozen and have been thawed for an unknown amount of time. Buy IQF (individually quick frozen) shrimp in the shell and thaw them manually for the best results.

You Thawed Shrimp Improperly

You should never defrost shrimp in the microwave or leave them to thaw on the counter at room temperature. Frozen shrimp should be defrosted overnight in a colander in the refrigerator. The next best option is to place them in a Ziploc bag and push out all of the air before running cold water over them for five to ten minutes. If you use warm or hot water, or if you run water over the shrimp without the bag, the shrimp will absorb the water and get mushy. That’s why, in the recommended approach, we recommend using a colander to keep the shrimp from becoming waterlogged.

You Forgot to Skewer them

Grilling shrimp is a great way to cook it since it cooks rapidly over high heat. However, due to their rapid cooking time, two minutes per side is usually plenty. That means you shouldn’t waste time flipping them one by one. They’re already overcooked by the time you get to the last ones.
Skewering the shrimp makes it easy to turn them and makes it more difficult for one or two to fall through the grate, while also assisting them in maintaining their shape. But keep in mind that a single skewer might not be enough. If you try to turn a row of shrimp on a single skewer, they’ll most certainly spin around. A double skewer prevents this and makes shrimp flipping a breeze.

You Didn’t Clean them

When a recipe instructs you to devein shrimp, it means you should remove the digestive tube. While it may sound revolting, there’s nothing inherently wrong with eating the digestive tract of a shrimp. The shrimp intestine, on the other hand, can include sand and mud, and while you won’t taste it, the gritty sensation is unpleasant.
With a pair of kitchen shears or a sharp paring knife, deveining shrimp is a breeze. Scrape out the small black strip by snipping or cutting a shallow ridge along the top of the shrimp from the wide end to the tail. The advantage of this procedure is that you can peel the shells off immediately away (or leave them on, depending on your needs).

You Left the Shells on

Shrimp are eaten with their shells on in many parts of the world because they are crispy and tasty. However, whether or not to remove the shells is a personal preference. Will the shells be removed before cooking? Or afterward? Will you offer them with the shells on and invite your guests to remove them?
Peeling each shrimp before eating it is a pain for most people, especially if they’re being served as hors d’oeuvres at a cocktail party. Alternatively, in a pasta dish or stew in which you must pick up the shrimp and get sauce all over your fingers.

What does Shrimp Taste like?

If cooked properly, shrimp has a sweet and mild flavor and a soft texture with a slight crunch. If the shrimp tastes rubbery, it was not cooked sufficiently. When it’s really fresh, it tastes like the ocean, but not too briny.


Shrimp is used in a variety of cuisines all throughout the world, but it has a long history with grits in the United States. Corn was first used in a number of ways by Muskogee Indigenous people for nourishment. When their grits were combined with the abundant shrimp found around the coasts of southern states like Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Louisiana, the dish became a low-cost, quick-to-prepare lunch. It can now be found on nearly every dinner table and restaurant menu in the United States.
If you buy it fresh, cook it within 24 hours after receiving it, but no more than 48 hours, depending on its freshness. If your shrimp smells fishy, like ammonia, or anything other than fresh salty water, throw it out. It has outlived its usefulness. Shrimp can be kept in the fridge for a few days once cooked. Shrimp purchased frozen can be stored for up to six months. Always follow the above-mentioned recommendations.