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How to cook shrimp

Updated on December 30, 2014

Recipes: Shrimp 3 ways

There are some ingredients which are so amazing, that actually you don’t need to do much to have a wonderful dish. In fact, with some ingredients, the more natural the better. Shrimp is just one of those ingredients – best to be kept as natural and simple as possible. It doesn't take much for a shrimp to taste absolutely divine.

Personally, I’m a big fan of shrimp, not only you can have amazing dishes with shrimp, but usually it’s also extremely easy and quick to cook and the fact is that most people just love shrimp. It’s also the sort of ingredient you can use in all sorts of recipes, I mean, you can serve it alone as a starter, you can serve it as an entrée, you can grill it, boil it, stew it, add it to rice, beans, you name it, it goes well with everything and it’s also something that looks good if you are having friends over.

Nutrition facts about shrimp

Shrimp is a great source of protein, as well as an amino acid that actually helps maintain sleep patterns and stabilize our mood. It is full of vitamin D and B12, which helps our heart and, of course, is full of those wonderful fatty acids we all hear about today, omega-3, which work wonders to our cholesterol, raising the good kind and lowering the bad kind.

Apart from this it's also a source for such mineral as selenium, which helps us with our immunity, thyroid function or even iron and zinc.

The other important fact is that you get all this vitamins, minerals and protein and from something which has low calories - well, it always depends on how you cook it. But in fact, your average size shrimp, if boiled, has 6 calories.

A few tips on shrimp

Fresh shrimp is extremely perishable and must be eaten within 24 hours, it's also not that easy to find, but frozen shrimp does the trick.

When you buy frozen shrimp, never buy those without the shell, since the shell and the head is what gives the real flavour.

To unfreeze shrimp put it in the freezer or in cold water. It is not advisable to unfreeze shrimp at rrom temperature or hot water.

The vein of the shrimp doesn't need to be taken out, although in larger shrimps it's advisable, since it may add a strange taste to the shrimp. In small shrimps it's barely noticeable. If you prefer to de-vein the shrimp, you need to do it before cooking. Just run the tip of a knife down the back of the shrimp, removing the vein.

Be careful not to overcook shrimp, since it is very quick to cook and overcooking it ruins the flavour and the texture.

Now, I don't actually know of anyone who doesn't like shrimp, but I know of people who are allergic to shrimp, to those the best is to not come close to it, because although it's delicious, it's not worth the risk, since the reaction to such allergy can range from skin rash to an anaphylactic reaction.

Boiled shrimp

One of the most delicious recipes for shrimp is actually the easiest one: boiling shrimp. There is nothing to it, it's quick, easy and delicious. You just have to mind a few details.


Fill a medium size saucepan with water and add plenty of salt and a red chili pepper and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling add the shrimps (medium size shrimps) and let it boil for another 5 minutes. Once the time has gone by, immediately remove the shrimps from the water and run them through ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Afterwards put them in the freezer for at least half an hour before serving.

Make sure you remove them from the water once the 5 minutes have gone by, as well as run them through cold water and put them in the freezer. These will make the difference between great shrimp and uneatable shrimp.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Frozen shrimpsPan with water and saltAdd the red chili pepperOnce it starts boiling add the shrimpsDone after 5 minutes in boiling water
Frozen shrimps
Frozen shrimps | Source
Pan with water and salt
Pan with water and salt | Source
Add the red chili pepper
Add the red chili pepper | Source
Once it starts boiling add the shrimps
Once it starts boiling add the shrimps | Source
Done after 5 minutes in boiling water
Done after 5 minutes in boiling water | Source

Garlic butter shrimp

I can't claim this recipe is terribly healthy, since you need only realize it has butter to know better, but the fact is it's delicious and again simple and quick and it makes for an amazing starter. So here it goes.


- 1/2 cup of butter

- 6 garlic cloves, minced;

- 1 red chili pepper;

- A pinch of salt ( remember the butter is already salted );

- 1.1 pounds / 500 grs. of medium sized shrimp;

- Whiskey (optional);

- Fresh coriander, chopped;

- Lime juice.


Melt the butter in a medium size pan and add the minced garlic, cooking it until it turns golden brown. Add the red chili pepper - if you want is hotter don't forget to mince it. Sauté the shrimps and once they turn pink, it's ready to serve, so just add the chopped coriander on top and pour some lime juice.

If you'd like you can also flambe the shrimps with a bit of whiskey when they turn pink, just to add a bit more of flavour.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Shrimp with beans

This is one of my favourite recipes, it's sort of a comfort food recipe, but still with that sense of freshness you get from the coriander and the shrimps together. It's great for when you have people over and you don't have a lot of time on your hands, but still want to impress.

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: Serves two people


  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 medium size ripe tomatos, chopped
  • 1.1 pounds / 500 grs medium size shrimp, peeled
  • 0.22 pounds/ 100 grs chouriço, sliced “chouriço” - tradittional portuguese pork sausage, it is smoked sausage
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1.7 pounds beans, pre-cooked
  • fresh coriander, chopped
  • water
  • salt, to taste
  • paprika, to taste
  • 1 chili pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. Boil the shrimps according to the instructions above. Peel them, once they are done, and set aside for later.
  2. In a medium sauce pan heat your olive oil ( pour in the pan until its bottom is covered), then add minced onions and 4 minced garlic cloves. Saute for 5 minutes over medium heat until you find the onion has passed the translucent stage and is turning already a bit yellowish. Then add the tomatos roughly chopped and let it simmer for a while, stirring every now and then.
  3. Add a handful of fresh coriander, chopped carrot and the sliced "chouriço", salt and pepper, paprika and the chili pepper. At last, add the pre-cooked beans and water.
  4. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer for a while (around 15 minutes), stirring with the spoon every now and then. If necessary add more water.
  5. Check the seasoning to see if you should add some more salt or pepper for instance. Add the peeled shrimps and let it cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Once it’s cooked, it’s time to serve. Just add some fresh coriander on top.

And if you liked it... put some stars on it...

5 stars from 1 rating of Shrimp with beans
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© Copyright Oct 12 2012 / To use part or the whole article you must first get written permission from the author. Feel free, nonetheless, to use an intro of the hub with a link to the article here on hubpages for the rest of the article.

© 2012 Joana e Bruno


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    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 5 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Hi, Suzette, thanks for stopping by, really glad you liked it... Shrimp is one of those things I really love and think it goes well with everything and after all who doesn't like shrimp?... Thanks for sharing and voting and have a great day!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 5 years ago from Taos, NM

      I love shrimp! This is a great article and I like your recipes for cooking and serving shrimp. They look and sound delicious to me. You offer some great ideas and tips for how to handle shrimp. Some of these I did not know, so I learned something from this hub. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us! Voted up and shared!

    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 5 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Hi, Mhatter99, yes, it's not so healthy as boiled shrimp, but it's so delicious... Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Take care!

    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 5 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Hi, Peachpurple, thanks, glad you like them and I hope you try them. Thanks for stopping by, commenting and voting. Have a great day!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing your ideas. I seem to always return to garlic butter shrimp.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Love your shrimps recipes. I love the butter prawns. Voted up