Boiling shrimp is one of the quickest and easiest methods of cooking shrimp. And they’re perfect for classic shrimp cocktail, shrimp salsa, for sushi rolls and more! The best part it takes less than 5 minutes.
How to thaw frozen shrimp quickly:
- Place frozen shrimp in a bowl with cold tap water. Don’t use warm water to expedite the process, or you’ll start cooking the shrimp.
- Change the water couple of times during 10 minutes or so. And your shrimp will be thawed!
I like to peel my shrimp before cooking, so I thaw the shrimp in cold water for about 5 minutes. And then the shrimp will be semi-frozen, hard, but easy to peel.
Put the peeled shrimp back into the cold water. By the time all shrimp are peeled, they will pretty much all thawed.
How to boil shrimp:
- Add salt, pepper, lemon wedges, and bay leaf into a pot of water, and bring it to a boil.
- Then add thawed shrimp and cook until done. Check the visual cues of cooked shrimp below.
- Place in an ice bath to stop the cooking and you’re good to go!
Visual cues of fully cooked shrimp:
- pink with bright red accents
- curl into a perfect C shape
What kind of shrimp is best to use?
I like to use extra-large shrimp. It is usually labeled as 26/30 count. Frozen EZ peel deveined shrimp is my go-to, as they’re super easy to peel and prep. Just make sure to thaw frozen shrimp before cooking.
How long should I boil shrimp for?
Cooking time depends on the size of the shrimp. Typically, 2 minutes is perfect for 26/30 count shrimp.
Why are my shrimp tough and rubbery?
Most of the time rubbery shrimp is a result of overcooking. Make sure you cook until you no longer see anymore gray and then throw them in that ice bath to stop the cooking and keep the tenderness.
How to Boil Shrimp
- 1 lb raw extra large shrimp peeled and deveined Note 1
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- Lemon wedges optional
- Black peppercorns optional
- Bay leaf optional
- Bring a large pot of water with aromatics, if using, to a boil. (TIP: About 2qt/2L of water is enough for 1-2lbs of shrimp.)
- Add shrimp and simmer for about 2 minutes, or until shrimp turn opaque and pink. Immediately transfer the cooked shrimp into a bowl of ice water. (Note: Cooking time depends on the size of the shrimp. 2 minutes is perfect for 26/30 count shrimp.)