Appetizers Dinner How Do I ?

Shrimp 101-Easy Tips For Buying, Preparing & Cooking!

Let’s talk shrimp!  So are you one of those that keep a cooked bag in the freezer like me or are you someone that enjoys eating it but never cooks it?  Let me help you out…

Shrimp Count?  What does that mean? It is the number of shrimp in one pound.  So the bigger the shrimp the less amount of shrimp in the bag.  Depending on what you are cooking;

  • Small Shrimp-great for tossing in a salad
  • Medium Shrimp-my go to for cooking in recipes or shrimp cocktail
  • Large Shrimp-Perfect for shrimp cocktail or great in recipes

Cooked or Uncooked? I used to be uncooked only.  Then I realized the ease of buying cooked.  

Frozen or Fresh?  If you buy fresh use it that day.  Easier is buying a bag of frozen and keeping it in the freezer for anytime.

How to prepare?  

  • Frozen-defrost in the fridge for one day or run cold water over it in the bag until defrosted.  
  • Uncooked-Peel off shell and twist off the tail, unless using for shrimp cocktail or a dish you want to keep the tail on.  Peel off the shell only. Remove the black vein in the back of the shrimp.  Removal of the vein works best with a pairing knife and/or a wiping it with a paper towel.


Shrimp cooks FAST!  Make sure you are ready with everything else for your meal.  Cook until it turns pink and slight curl. Thermometers are hard with small seafood but the final temp after resting should be 145 degrees.  I normally cook mine to about 130 degrees and the temperature rises while cooking.  If your shrimp curls too much it is overcooked. Another way to tell overcooked if your house smells of fish, it shouldn’t.

What if the recipe calls for uncooked shrimp but I want to go easy and use cooked shrimp?  I often do this just stir the shrimp in at the last minute to get it hot.

A couple of quick Shrimp ideas;

  • Shrimp Salad; Toss cooked shrimp with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and walnuts.  Drizzle with Thousand Island Dressing and crispy crumbled bacon.
  • Tortellini Shrimp; Cook frozen tortellini, drain and toss in a pan for 2 minutes with shrimp, basil pesto, and sliced grape tomatoes.

Other great Shrimp ideas;

Enjoy some shrimp at home tonight, you can do it!