There are many ways to prepare shrimp for cooking, and there is no absolute right way but there are many things to consider when handling shrimp and cooking them the best way possible to ensure freshness and an excellent taste.
Before all else, whether you are working with fresh or frozen shrimp, during cleaning and before cooking, keep your shrimp on ice or in ice water to ensure that they don’t get limp and the meat doesn’t get soggy. Ideally, using fresh shrimp is best, but it’s definitely hard to find fresh shrimp unless you are near the ocean, so frozen will also work well.
Thaw your frozen shrimp in a bowl of water with a couple of teaspoons of salt added in. Clean them thoroughly. Rinse and then drop them into a bowl of cold water with a little ice to sit in until it’s time to cook them.
A few things to keep in mind:
- – 1 1/2 pounds of shell-on raw shrimp is equal to 1 lb of cooked shelled shrimp
- – The bigger the shrimp, the higher the price and the less per pound you get
- – An ammonia smell or sour smell indicates spoilage. Do not use.
- – Do not use shrimp with yellow tails or dry spots. That is freezer burn.
- – At the fish market, you will see fresh fish and shrimp are stored in or over ice!
- – The vein you see on the shrimp is its digestive tract. It doesn’t affect the taste if you leave it in, but it does affect the appearance and the overall experience of eating the shrimp if you are sensitive to this.
- – There is a special deveining tool that you can purchase and use to remove the vein and cut the shell with.
- – Once defrosted, shrimp should be kept refrigerated and used within three days.
- – Fresh shrimp will always have a better texture and firmness than frozen. It’s an inevitable truth. Frozen is still very good when cooked properly.
1. To peel a raw shrimp, start from the underneath portion, where the shrimp legs are attached. If you like, leave the shrimp tail on for looks, but cut the legs off and leave the rest of the shell on.
2. Devein by making a shallow slit down the middle of the shrimp’s back to expose the black intestine.
3. Lift out the shrimp’s black vein with the point of a paring knife and wipe it off on a paper towel.
At this point you will use the shrimp as called for in your own recipe. However, this video has cooking instructions with a recipe you can find below.
1 lb cleaned shrimp
2 lbs coarse salt
Sichuan peppercorns crushed
Mix above dry ingredients and cut in half. Take half of the salt mix and put into a hot, oiled skillet and heat up to medium high heat covering pot to simmer. Cook until shrimp is just done, careful to not under or overcook.
Remove from salt and serve immediately!