How Long Do You Boil Shrimp

Shrimp is easy to cook. When boiling shrimp, check for change in color of the shrimp. A pinkish color indicates that the shrimps are cooked. The time taken to boil shrimp depends on the size of the shrimp. As with all other fish and meat, shrimps also should not be overcooked as they become tough and rubbery.

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Medium size shrimps take from five to seven minutes to cook, larger shrimps take a little longer and smaller sized ones take less. Make sure you add the shrimps only when the water is boiling. After the shrimps are added into the water, you can take it off the heat, and let the shrimps cook in the hot water. Take the shrimps out as soon as they change color.

To add extra flavour to the shrimps, add a few slices of lemon, and bay leaf to the boiling water. The shrimps absorb the flavour while boiling. If you are making shrimp stock, you can boil the heads of shrimps along with carrots, celery, peppercorns, parsley, thyme, lemongrass, ginger and garlic. Simmer till liquid is reduced and then use the stock for other dishes like rice, soup, and other sauces.

You can buy shrimps fresh or frozen. Buy shrimps deveined with the shell intact. Thaw the shrimps well before cooking by running under cold water for 15-20 minutes. Once thawed and at room temperature proceed to boiling. Boiled shrimps can be served as appetizers with a cocktail sauce, or can be added into salads. Cocktail sauce is made with ketchup, lemon juice, horseradish, worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper and hot sauce (optional).

Shrimps can be cooked in various ways. You can brush shrimp with a little marinade or butter and broil it for a few minutes, or sauté with garlic and butter in a saucepan. To make sauce, add a little white wine, fresh herbs, fish stock and squeeze a little lemon juice before serving. Instead of boiling, shrimps can also be deep fried after tossing it in seasoned flour or spiced bread crumbs.

Shrimps are also known as prawns and come in many sizes and varieties like salt water, cold water, warm water, white, tiger, brown, pink, gulf and rock shrimp. Shrimps are a popular seafood added into pasta dishes, stir fries, curry dishes, salads, snacks and rice dishes like paella.

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