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How to Know When Shrimp is Cooked

Tasty, flexible, and highly affordable, shrimp remains one of the most widely cooked types of seafood in the world. It goes with virtually anything, from salads to sauces, burgers and sandwiches, cereals, stews, soups, and even vegetable dishes. But with so many recipes flooding the internet, you may be worried about finding the perfect method for determining the doneness of shrimp.

But you don’t have to, since shrimp is relatively easy to prepare, regardless of the method you use. You only need proper guidance to show you how.

How to Know When Shrimp is Cooked (3)

Tips to Note when Cooking Shrimp

Before you dive into making that shrimp-based recipe, you’ll need to consider a few suggestions. And keeping these tips at hand is key to ensuring your recipes meet your preferred standards every time.

Picking Shrimps

If you’re like most people, you’re likely only to get access to frozen shrimp. This option isn’t a bad thing since the flash-freeze preservation method keeps them fresh enough. Still, you’ll want to avoid products with preservatives listed on the package if you’re looking for the real deal. But if you’re buying fresh shrimp, make sure it doesn’t have any fishy smell; that means they’re bad. And whether fresh or frozen, the shells must be a translucent gray shade-.

Pre-Cooking Preparations

You’ll want to devein the shrimps before cooking by removing the gut. This process is necessary; otherwise, the digestive tract will add a bitter taste to the final result. Also, if you prefer to remove the shells, consider keeping them aside to make a sauce. Shrimp shells hold lots of flavors which are released when they’re poached in a liquid. Plus, if you buy frozen shrimp, the best way to thaw it is to leave it in the fridge overnight.

Cooking Techniques

You can make shrimps in various ways, and these ideas below are some of the most popular types;


You can skewer your shrimps before grilling or toss them on the rack as they are. You can also remove the shells or cook them with as well. Either way, be sure to coat them to taste with your favorite wet spice mix. By grilling, shrimp takes about two minutes for each side to be ready.


Most times, shrimp isn’t boiled, but more like dunked in the water while it’s hot. This method is mainly used if you wish to cook the shrimp before adding it to a recipe. The general practice is to put the shrimp in just as the water reaches a boil, remove them before it boils again, and cool in ice water. Another method is to poach or lightly braise the shrimp in hot water, broth, or soup at the end of the cooking process. This way, the residual heat from the cooking liquid will bring the meat to doneness.


A minute or two over medium-high heat is enough time to sauté shrimp over the stove. If you’re frying it with vegetables, add the shrimp last, at the time when the vegetables are hot and cooked. Then take the recipe off the fire and leave it to cook the shrimp by residual heat.

Measuring Servings

When buying shrimp, you’ll mostly find them sold at number/pound. For instance, a ‘17 per pound’ indication means you’ll get 17 shrimp per pound from the package. Note that this doesn’t indicate the size of the shrimp but the amount you’ll find in the box.

Knowing when Shrimp is Done

Well-cooked shrimp should display an opaque white color with accents of red and pink. The shrimp should also shrink or curl to a C or O-shape to ensure it’s properly cooked. And if you’d prefer to use a thermometer, consider a temperature of about 120F.

Now that you’ve added this information to your shrimp-cooking arsenal, why not check out this easy recipe below;

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How to Know When Shrimp is Cooked

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Crispy Fried Shrimp (2-3 Servings)


  • pounds shrimp, extra-large, peeled, deveined
  • Eight cups vegetable oil
  • Two cups of panko breadcrumbs
  • Two eggs, large
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour, unbleached
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  • Salt


  1. Mix the flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika in a dish and whisk until blended. In another bowl, whisk the eggs till it’s also blended. In a third bowl, pour the breadcrumbs.
  2. Heat the oil in a pot to about 350F. While you wait, coat the shrimp first with the flour mixture, followed by the whisked egg and breadcrumbs. Ensure the shrimp is wet, so the flour sticks, and ensure the breadcrumbs stick to the surfaces.
  3. Saute the shrimp in the hot oil for about two minutes or until the result is crispy and golden. Be sure to do it in batches and not overcrowd the pan.
  4. Transfer the fried shrimp to a flat container lined with paper towels to drain and serve as you please.

Test your knowledge on this topic by trying out this video recipe.

  • Author: Bobby