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How to Cook Frozen Jumbo Butterfly Shrimp

by Katie Jensen, studioD

You don't even have to defrost frozen butterfly shrimp before you cook it, and it cooks quickly. Both of these factors make frozen shrimp the go-to choice for dinner in a hurry. Butterfly shrimp gets its name because the shrimp is cut in half vertically from the thick part to almost the end of the tail, which makes it resemble a butterfly. Rinse the shrimp and pat it dry before cooking. Cook the shrimp until it turns pink and the meat is opaque rather than somewhat translucent like raw shrimp.

Shrimp on the Barbie

Heat the grill to medium hot.

Skewer the shrimp on either metal or wooden skewers. Soak wood skewers in water for 30 minutes. Thread the shrimp using two skewers, alternating the shrimp. Pierce the first shrimp horizontally at the fat end where the head used to be. Work the skewer through both halves of the "butterfly" on your left. Pierce the shrimp horizontally with the other skewer on its skinny end above the tail on your right side. Pierce the second shrimp on the skinny end on your left side and the fat end on your right side. Leave about 1/4 inch between each shrimp. This two-skewer method keeps the shrimp from turning around on the skewer.

Place the skewers on the grill. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side or until the shrimp is done. Butterfly shrimp cook faster than whole shrimp.

Spicy Boiled Shrimp

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add in a bunch of your favorite herbs or a handful of dried herbs such as parsley, thyme, oregano and cilantro. Toss in a couple heads of garlic. Add heat with chopped jalapenos, serranos, chili flakes or chili powder. The more you add, the hotter the shrimp will be. Butterflied shrimp are exposed more to the spices than whole shrimp so you'll get more flavor.

Boil the water bath, spices and herbs for 10 minutes so the flavors meld.

Add the shrimp. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes after the water comes back to a boil.

Succulent Sauteed Shrimp

Place a saute pan large enough to hold all the shrimp without crowding over medium high heat. Add enough cooking oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan.

Toss in the shrimp when the oil just begins to shimmer. Don't wait until the oil smokes.

Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add seasonings such as dill and lemon juice or your other favorites.

Items you will need
  •  Skewers
  •  Grill
  •  Cooking pot
  •  Herbs and spices (optional)
  •  Saute pan
  •  Cooking oil


  • Ignore the name of the shrimp whether medium, large, jumbo or colossal; instead, look at how many shrimp are in a pound. The fewer shrimp, the larger each shrimp is and the more the shrimp costs. Jumbo shrimp could be 30 to 40 shrimp to a pound or 20 to 30.


  • Throw out shrimp that have an off odor. Frozen shrimp won't have much of an odor to begin with but will develop that off odor as it cooks. Alternatively, defrost one of the shrimp and do the "sniff" test.


About the Author

Katie Jensen's first book was published in 2000. Since then she has written additional books as well as screenplays, website content and e-books. Rosehill holds a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University. Her articles specialize in business and personal finance. Her passion includes cooking, eating and writing about food.

Photo Credits

  • Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images