Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to Cook Shrimp

My post-holiday bathroom scale has been hinting that perhaps a few more salads are in order.  So, inspired by this post for shrimp caesar salad at A Blog About Food, I headed to the local Chinese market for the freshest, juiciest shrimp around.

The market sells them with their heads still on (see those little shrimp eyes?).  And while whole shrimp take a bit more time to prepare, I think the extra flavor and juiciness is worth it.

It occurred to me that in this era when so much of our grocery store food is pre-cooked and pre-cleaned, somebody out there might not know what to do with whole shrimp.  So I share with you a method for cooking them that I just discovered a few years ago.  It's easy, adds no extra fat, and near as I can tell, is foolproof.  You don't need anything but a large-ish pot and some water.  The shrimp end up moist and never overcooked.  And if you buy them from my Chinese market, they'll be sweet and mmmm mmmm good.

1.  Put one to two inches water in large lidded pot.  Bring water to boil over high heat.
2.  Add shrimp that are IN the shell.  Cover, remove from heat, and let stand until shrimp are cooked through in center, about 8 minutes.
3.  Pour shrimp into colander to drain.  Let cool for a couple minutes.
4.  Pop off the shrimp heads (there might be some orange goo-squirting going on, so wearing an apron is not a bad idea).  Then snap off the tails and pull off the shrimp's outer shells.  (Gardeners may want to set aside the shells to dig into soil later; they add calcium to the soil, apparently, which helps prevent tomato bottom rot, I am told.)

And there you have it.  Shrimp deliciousness, ready for your next salad.

Not cookies.  Salad.  We are eating salad here.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Meg said...

I am a great lover of shrimp and those look oh so delicious! I also love salad too, but I can see how the cookies would have a stronger call. ;)

February 20, 2013 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger teresa said...

great tutorial, i'm once again craving that salad! i adore shrimp!

February 21, 2013 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Dawn Yucuis said...

I have never bought shrimp with the heads on. I love shrimp, but don't cook with them too much, so this was interesting to me. Thanks for sharing.

February 28, 2013 at 8:16 PM  
OpenID croquecamille said...

Great technique! there is nothing worse than overcooked shrimp, and I agree that cooking them in the shells helps to keep them nice and juicy.

March 13, 2013 at 6:51 AM  

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