Although serving up a perfectly cooked plateful of shrimp may seem a daunting task, it’s far from impossible. Says Candy Harrington, author of Shrimp My Way; Low Calorie, Easy Prep and Simply Delicious, “Truth be told, experience is the key factor when preparing shrimp, as it’s very easy to undercook or overcook it. And believe me, there’s nothing worse than rubbery or mushy shrimp.”
With that in mind, here are Candy’s tried-and-true tips for cooking up a scrumptious batch of perfectly cooked shrimp.
- Make sure the shrimp is thawed all the way through before you begin to cook it. If not, run some cold water on it and dry it completely on a paper towel. Do not thaw shrimp in a microwave, as it will end up with a rubbery texture.
- Buy easy-peel shrimp without the heads for the easiest preparation. Just flip the shrimp over and pop off the shell.
- Check to see if the shrimp is deveined. If not, then run a knife along the back of the shrimp, about a quarter-inch deep to expose the vein. Then take the tip of the knife and pull out the vein.
- To cook shrimp on a stovetop, heat some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add the shrimp, and cook for three-to-four minutes. It’s done when it turns pink. Pre-heating the skillet helps to avoid overcooking, which can result in a rubbery texture and a loss of flavor.
- If you still can’t tell if your sautéed shrimp is done, give it the spring test. Hold a shrimp with the tail pointing up, then pull down the tail. If the tail springs back into place it’s cooked; if not then it’s not done yet.
- You can also boil or steam shrimp. Throw the thawed shrimp into a pot of boiling water, add seasonings and cook for one-to-three minutes. When it turns pink and floats to the top, it’s done.
- Finally, you can also grill shrimp on the barbeque. Just soak the shrimp in your favorite marinade and thread it on to wooden skewers soaked in water. It only takes three-to-five minutes to cook, and it’s absolutely delicious.