How to Cook Shrimp

by Food & Drink Editor

How to Cook Shrimp. Shrimp is still the most popular seafood in America. Almost all shrimp are processed and frozen at sea. Buy shrimp that are still frozen, with their shells on; then, follow these simple steps to ensure a safe and tasty meal!

Shell and devein the shrimp before cooking, if you like (see Related eHows for instructions).

To cook a pound of shrimp, bring two quarts of water to a boil.

Salt the water lightly. You can also add some lemon juice, if desired.

Shut off the heat and pour the shrimp in the water all at once.

Let them steep about 3 to 5 minutes, or until done. Shrimp are best when cooked gently.

Check by cutting one in half. If its flesh is opaque throughout, it's done.

Remove them from the cooking water immediately.


  • 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.

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