How to Boil Shrimp
Shrimp is a very interesting ingredient. It can create many savory dishes on its own. It can also be added to a host of different other recipes for an exciting and flavorful twist.
There are many ways to prepare shrimp. You may grill it, pan-fry it, stir-fry it, steam it, or simply boil it. As with any other food ingredient, there are tips and tricks in handling shrimp, even when you are dealing with the simplest cooking method of boiling. In this article, we will give you as much information that you need to make perfect boiled shrimps with some extra tips on handling this precious fix to many recipes.
Get to Know Shrimps
Shrimp is a seafood, of crustacean family. It comes in different varieties and sizes. It can come with an expensive price tag. That’s why chefs and cooks everywhere look at it as a costly investment. The fact that handling shrimps can be tricky is also a factor.
Cooking shrimps perfectly is important because that’s the only way to enjoy the fresh and flavorful taste of this delectable food. Take a small wrong step and you get a rubbery taste and texture.
There are a couple of things that you need to understand when preparing shrimps.
First of all, you need to thaw your shrimps before you make any efforts cooking it. Shrimps must be completely thawed in the refrigerator for
about 18 to 24 hours or under running tap water for two hours. You should not thaw your shrimps by running it in hot water because that will partially cook your frozen shrimps. You must also never re-freeze thawed shrimp. Once thawed, you must use it for your recipe.
Secondly, you must learn how to take the shell properly. Some people who boil their shrimps boil it with the shell on. But there are recipes that call for shelled boiled shrimp. That’s why you need to learn this simple trick. When shelling, you must hold on to the tail and remove the shell from the body of the shrimp completely. You may completely detach the shell including the head and tail or leave them on for a nice presentation.
Third, you must learn how to devein your shrimps. Deveining is a process where the dark vein at the back of the shrimp is removed. This dark vein is the intestinal tract of the shrimp. You will be able to remove it easily if you have shelled your shrimp first.
You must also keep in mind that shrimp is very perishable. You must use it immediately after buying. Or you can store it in the freezer and thaw it completely before cooking.
How to Boil Shrimp
When boiling shrimp, there is an all-important detail you should never leave out. That is the proper timing. Timing can make or break your recipe. Overcooked shrimp will taste just like your pencil eraser. It would also be difficult to shell overcooked shrimps. Timing is really everything when you are learning how to boil shrimp.
Before boiling, make sure that you rinse your shrimp. Again, it must be completely thawed. It must also be prepared according to the requirement of your recipe. Do you need it shelled, deveined, or butterflied? Prepare your shrimps before you even start to boil a pot of water so you will not be pressed for time.
You have the liberty to season your water for boiling. You may simply add salt and water or you may splash in a whole spice bag into it to make your shrimp flavorful and truly delectable.
Allow your water to boil and reach a gentle simmer before putting the shrimps on. At this point, you should start timing. Medium-sized shrimps would only need about two minutes submerged in water to cook. Add in about half a minute for every bigger size you will encounter. Some cooks decide on the doneness of their shrimps as they rise up to the surface.
Once cooked, you must put your shrimps in a bowl of ice cubes to stop the cooking process. If you are serving boiled shrimps as a cocktail, you may want to remove the shells before serving. Perfectly boiled shrimps should not give you a difficult time shelling.
Boiled Shrimp Recipes
You can serve boiled shrimps in many different ways. You can mix up different spices and seasonings to flavor your shrimps and serve them as an enticing appetizer.
You can do a Pickled Shrimp Recipe, which will only require some boiled shrimp that has been shelled, some grape tomatoes, a small purple onion, red pepper, lemon, and two bottles of Italian dressing. You just need to mix everything together and after a couple of hours leaving it chilled, you can serve it to your guests. Make sure to prepare a good stock because once your guests start eating, they will surely ask for more.