Shrimp is a versatile protein that can easily be the star as an appetizer or a main dish. They can quickly absorb flavors from marinades and are a great choice for ethnic cuisine.
Whether sauteed, grilled, broiled, boiled or chilled - shrimp are easy to prepare a variety of ways, even on the busiest of nights.
Raw vs Precooked
While using pre-cooked shrimp can save you a lot of time, it can get rubbery when cooked a second time so it’s better to save them for cold dishes or salads. It’s easier to control the cooking process with raw shrimp.
Shelled vs Not
Shrimp may be shelled and deveined, unshelled (but not deveined), or EZ-peel (deveined, with a split shell for easy peeling). Though many will find shrimp are easier to clean prior to cooking, some cooks prefer the extra flavor that the shells impart in cooking.
Fresh vs Frozen
Choose fresh if you don’t have time to properly thaw. Discard any fresh shrimp that smell like ammonia.
How to Thaw
Place frozen shrimp in the refrigerator to thaw for about 24 hours per pound of shrimp or place frozen shrimp in a colander under cold running water until thawed (10 minutes).
Marinate & Cook
Raw shrimp can be marinated in a sealed ziplock bag for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them in water while you are waiting for the marinade to work its magic. This will prevent the skewers from burning. When you are ready to skewer, drain the shrimp to discard the marinade. Be sure to leave 1/4 inch between shrimp on the skewer.
Preheat your grill with a greased rack for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Grill for 2 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque, turning once halfway through.