Thawing frozen shrimp

Thaw in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. If you’re in a hurry, place shrimp in a colander under cold running water until thawed.

Deveining shrimp

The “vein” running along a shrimp’s back (technically the dorsal surface, opposite the legs) under a thin layer of flesh is really its digestive tract. Use a paring knife to make a slit along the length of the shrimp; then pull it out with the tip of the knife.

How much is enough?

Shrimp are sorted by size and count (or the average number of shrimp oer pound). Expect shrimp to shrink in weight by about half when cooked. You should plan on 3 to 4 ounces of cooked shrimp per serving.

Tips & Warnings

  • Quickly boiling or poaching shrimp is the most common method, but shrimp can be cooked virtually any way: in a skillet with butter or oil, in a fryer, on a barbecue grill, in a steamer, or in a hot oven.
  • Shrimp overcook quickly and become very tough. Medium shrimp (2 or 3 inches long) only take about 2 minutes to cook; larger shrimp take 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Cook shrimp in their shells, if possible. The shells protect the delicate meat as it cooks and add some flavor. Shell and devein them after cooking.
  • Add cooked shrimp to hot dishes only at the very end of the cooking time so they won’t continue cooking.