Most people are intimidated to cook seafood. Its delicate nature makes it easy to get very wrong, and screwing up your salmon or your scallops can be a rather expensive mistake. If you don’t cook your seafood thoroughly, it can make you sick. If you overcook it, it can be rubbery and tasteless.
Fortunately, frozen shrimp is one of the easiest foods on the planet to cook, once you know what you are doing. In this article, you’re going to learn everything you need to know in order to make the best shrimp recipes you have ever had. First, we’ll look at how to buy frozen shrimp. Then, you’ll learn how to cook frozen shrimp. Finally, we’ll share a few amazing shrimp recipes that you will use over and over again.
How to Buy Frozen Shrimp
Buying frozen shrimp is incredibly simple. You can even get fully cooked frozen shrimp, and everything is done for you. This is the easiest thing to do if you are hesitant to try cooking raw shrimp. Don’t be hard on yourself if that’s the case. Pre-cooked frozen shrimp is just as delicious as raw frozen shrimp and far easier to deal with.
Food germs are less of an issue with pre-cooked frozen shrimp, and you can get an amazing variety. Breaded shrimp, butterflied shrimp, beer-battered shrimp, even shrimp scampi are just a few recipes that are as simple as opening a box and heating.
If you decide you want to go all out and get raw shrimp, here are some tips to ensure you get the easiest shrimp to deal with for your first recipes:
- Make sure your shrimp is peeled and deveined.
- Small shrimp are going to have about 50-60 pieces per pound.
- Medium – 40-50 pieces per pound.
- Large – 30-35 pieces per pound.
- Jumbo – 20-25 pieces per pound.
- The size you get will depend on the recipe you are making. You don’t necessarily want the tiny size if you are just eating the shrimp plain because it will overcook before you can get it out of the skillet.
How to Cook Frozen Shrimp
If you have chosen to go with pre-cooked frozen shrimp, simply follow the instructions on the package for a perfect culinary experience. If, however, you decided to go with raw frozen shrimp, there are a few more steps to follow.
Before you can cook your shrimp, you need to thaw it. This can be done by placing it in a strainer and leaving it in the refrigerator overnight, or you can use the quick-thaw method. Do not let shrimp thaw on the counter. Once your shrimp is thawed, pat with a paper towel to dry, then prepare to cook. You can either saute it in a skillet or bake it in the oven. Some people love to broil it for an extra rich flavor.
Heat your choice of cooking oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until oil is shiny but not smoking. Listen to the sizzle as you drop your shrimp into the skillet. Season. Cook for about a minute or two and turn. Cook another minute or two on the other side. When shrimp is almost opaque, remove from heat. It will finish cooking after you remove it, and this prevents overcooking.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a baking sheet or cover in parchment paper. Place shrimp on baking sheet and season. Bake 6-8 minutes, until shrimp is just pink.
Follow the same instructions for baking, but broil for the last two minutes.
Delicious Shrimp Recipes
Now that you know how to buy shrimp and how to cook frozen shrimp, check out these simple recipes that are sure to please any palate.
1. Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi
This garlic butter shrimp scampi recipe will make you smile as soon as you smell the garlic cooking. It only takes ten minutes to make, and is a perfect dish for people who are just beginning to learn how to cook frozen shrimp.
2. Easy Shrimp Tacos
Everyone loves tacos; and with shrimp tacos, it’s impossible to go wrong. Prepare your shrimp and layer your toppings onto a tortilla. Corn or flour, any kind goes great with shrimp. You can use whatever is in the fridge, or try going super gourmet by making Asian inspired tacos with shredded cabbage, grated carrots, and teriyaki sauce.
3. Browned Butter Honey Garlic Shrimp
This recipe sounds super advanced, and you can definitely let anyone you cook for think it is. It only takes 20 minutes to make, though, and is probably one of the tastiest dishes you will ever have. You can make this shrimp recipe to eat by itself, put it in your tacos, add it to rice or pasta, or top off your salad with it. Whatever you do, this is the dish that will make you glad you learned how to cook frozen shrimp.