If you’re looking for easy, healthy dinner ideas, shrimp is a good option. Shrimp are low in calories and saturated fat, and are a good source of protein, vitamin B12, iron and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Shrimp cook quickly, especially when you boil, saute or grill them. No matter which cooking method you choose, shrimp are done when they turn pink. Fresh shrimp have a shelf life of only two days. Unless you live in a coastal area, the “fresh” shrimp you see at the grocery store have already been frozen and thawed. It’s best to buy still-frozen shrimp. To save time, buy frozen shrimp that's already peeled.
Peel the shrimp. Move the tail back and forth until it snaps off. Then, move the legs -- the little bits that appear on the inside curve of the shrimp - to one side. This will release the shell from the shrimp. Deveining the shrimp — or removing the “black string” that forms its digestive tract — is optional, particularly if the shrimp are small. However, if you don’t devein large shrimp, your meal may contain tiny particles of sand or grit. If your shrimp start to curl while you’re cooking them, then immediately remove them from the heat.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add your uncooked shrimp. Depending on the size of your shrimp, they will be done in five to ten minutes. If you are using frozen uncooked shrimp, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight, in cold water or in the microwave. Once the shrimp are cooked, cool them in an ice bath. Serve with cocktail sauce.
Saute peeled, uncooked shrimp in butter for about one minute. Then, add olive oil and lemon juice to the shrimp and continue sauteing for another 10 minutes. If this is an adults-only dinner, add some white wine to the pan along with the olive oil and lemon juice. Serve over pasta or with a side of grits. A salad with creamy dressing makes a nice accompaniment.
Grill peeled, uncooked shrimp on skewers for about five minutes. Serve with an assortment of grilled veggies. To add extra flavor to the shrimp, season them with salt and pepper before grilling. For an added kick, baste them with barbecue sauce as they cook on the grill.
Like This Article? Let Us Know!
- Prevent food-borne illnesses. Cook fresh shrimp the same day you buy them, or immediately refrigerate the shrimp until you are ready to cook them. Store frozen shrimp in the freezer and thaw them before cooking -- either in the refrigerator, a cold water bath or the microwave. If you thaw the shrimp in the microwave, cook them immediately.
- Immediately wash any surfaces -- including your hands, cutting boards, counters and utensils -- that come in contact with the raw shrimp with hot, soapy water.
- Self Nutrition Data: Crustaceans, Shrimp, Mixed Species, Cooked, Moist Heat
- University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension; Seafood Safety – What Consumers Need to Know; Doris Hicks et al.
- “Nathalie Dupree’s Shrimp and Grits Cookbook”; Nathalie Dupree et al.; 2006
- “How to Boil Water: Life Beyond Takeout”; Food Network Kitchens; 2006
- “How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food”; Mark Bittman; 2008
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images