Learn how to cook shrimp on the stove with this easy to follow step by step photo instructions. Great juicy shrimp cooked in the pan. You won’t believe how easy this can be. Get it right first time and every time.
Nothing is better than perfectly cooked shrimp. How many times have you stood at the stove cooking shrimp? If you are like me, cooking shrimp is not something you do frequently. This post is less of a recipe but mostly instructions about techniques. Cooking shrimp is so easy if you just know how.
How to shop for shrimp in the supermarket
Most shrimp is frozen soon after being caught, so the freshest-tasting shrimp is the kind you buy in the freezer aisle rather than the thawed stuff at the supermarket fish counter. Because shrimp is highly perishable, and you don’t really know how long the thawed stuff has been thawed. Therefore, never, I repeat, NEVER buy shrimp that is not frozen.
How to thaw frozen shrimp
If you buy frozen shrimp, you can thaw it yourself just before you need it. I never let it thaw overnight in the fridge because it will accumulate too much histamine that way. Histamine is the stuff that makes you sneeze and have watery eyes, it can also cause mild to severe digestive issues.
What I usually do is take the shrimp out of its package, put it in a bowl or colander in the sink, and run cold water over them for about 5 minutes. Toss the shrimp occasionally to make sure they are all exposed to the cold water. You will know that the shrimp is thawed and ready when they are no longer frozen solid but soft, easily bendable, and slightly translucent. This will only take a few minutes. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel.
Here’s a quick cooking lesson on how to cook shrimp perfectly on the stove top.
- First things first, put shrimp in a mixing bowl and rub them in seasoning mixture. Mix well to make sure shrimp is coated well in sea salt, Italian seasoning, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Shrimp have a mild flavor so they take on whatever flavor you’re serving them with. Yummy!
- Next turn the stove on and heat the oil or butter over medium-high heat. I usually tilt the pan as the oil warms to coat the bottom of the pan.
- When the butter is melted or the oil moves around the pan easily, add the shrimp to the hot pan. If they don’t sizzle on contact, warm your pan a little longer next time.
- Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping only once midway. Depending on the size of your shrimp and how many you have in the pan, this will usually take 4 to 6 minutes.
- Lastly, transfer to a serving dish. Serve seared shrimp immediately with pasta or rice. May I suggest Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta and Instant Pot Shrimp and Orzo for your enjoyment?
How do I know When Shrimp Is Done
Keep in mind that shrimp cook very quickly – don’t take your eyes off of them otherwise they can overcook. Undercooked shrimp look like a wide and flexible “U” shape, while overcooked shrimp form an”O” shape. Perfectly cooked shrimp are pink with bright red tails and look as a “C” in shape and ready to eat! One minute they’re a bit odd-looking and unappealing, and the next minute it’s hard to keep from eating them directly from the pan. There’s absolutely no guesswork involved.
How to make Shrimp into Dinner
While I could probably be perfectly happy with a bowl of shrimp and nothing else, most of the time shrimp needs some accompaniment, usually carbs, to make it a meal. Let me introduce you to Pesto Shrimp Pasta – an amazing combo of pesto, fettuccini white wine, and Italian seasoning. I am also partial to using red wine when cooking shrimp, as I did in this Garlic Shrimp Pasta. Because shrimp is used in almost every world cuisine, you can add it to pretty much anything! Serve shrimp over rice or orzo, eat it over a bed of greens, or with some roasted vegetables on the side. What’s your favorite way to have shrimp for dinner?