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How to Boil Shrimp

Boiling Shrimp is so simple and makes shrimp so VERY tasty! Once you have the process for how to boil shrimp under your hat, you’ll be ready for shrimp cocktail and all kinds of other recipes!

how to boil shrimp on a fork

How To Boil Shrimp

Perhaps you are doing a Low Country Boil or maybe you like shrimp cocktail? Maybe you just need a way to cook some frozen shrimp you bought at the grocery?

Boiling is a great way to cook your shrimp quickly and completely and to have them for other uses!

Boiled shrimp are perfect with our cocktail sauce or our shrimp sauce yum yum sauce!

Baking shrimp in the oven is another terrific and fast way to prepare shrimp and you can see that HERE.

Some of our other popular shrimp recipes include: How to Cook Frozen Shrimp and How to Cook Shrimp on the Stove

how to boil shrimp on white plate

Here’s How You Do It

The basic instructions for boiling shrimp is to flavor the water so that the water flavors the shrimp! It’s that easy.

  • Set a large pot of fresh water on to boil.
  • Add the seasonings, herbs and other items to season the water.
  • Once simmering, add the shrimp!

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • A pound of shrimp
  • Some fresh herbs and seasonings, see the recipe below for the things we find easiest and best to use.
boiling pot

Special Equipment

There really isn’t any special equipment you will need, but a good heavy pot is always a blessing as is a kitchen spider.

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Kitchen Spider

Heavy Duty Stock Pan

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

How Long Does Boiled Shrimp Last?

Boiled shrimp will keep covered in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Can I Freeze Boiled Shrimp?

Yes, you can freeze boiled shrimp, but the texture will change and it makes heating them back up difficult. So its best to cook up fresh whatever you have and eat those.

Tips and Tricks How to Boil Shrimp

  • Start with raw or uncooked shrimp. These can either be fresh or frozen. If they are frozen, you must thaw them first.
  • To thaw frozen shrimp, move them from the freezer to the refrigerator the night/day before you plan to use them OR you can set the bag in a bowl of cool water several hours before you plan to use them. Do NOT set them in a bowl of hot water.
  • You will want the water at a lively simmer. Remove any water from the bag that the shrimp are in before adding them to the simmering water.
  • How long it takes the shrimp to cook will depend on the size of the shrimp, the state of the shrimp before cooking (frozen, very cold, precooked, etc.).
  • The shrimp are done when they are bright pink, the flesh is opaque and they begin to curl a bit.
  • It’s easiest to remove them from the water with a kitchen spider
shrimp on a plate

Substitutions

Shrimp – You can use fresh, raw, cooked, uncooked, frozen, shell on, shell off, tail on, tail off or ANY size shrimp you find for boiled shrimp. The idea being that it will take a varying amount of cook time for each of these variances. The shrimp is done when it is pink, opaque and curled.

Water – You can always use vegetable broth or chicken broth to boil your shrimp and this will add more flavor. Use seafood broth if you have it!

Spices, herbs and flavors – You can use any that you prefer. Just remember that seafood is already a bit salty so go easy with salt. Also remember that not ALL seasonings will go with the flavor of shrimp so if you are new to this, maybe go with the recipe to start.

I’ll Show You How to Boil Shrimp

Can You Give Me a Hand?

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how to cook shrimp for shrimp cocktail on plate

How to Boil Shrimp

Easy, Fast and a great way to prepare shrimp for so many other recipes! Takes about 10 minutes start to finish!
Print Pin Rate
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to boil shrimp
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 112kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb Frozen shrimp
  • 3 quarts cold water
  • ½ onion in slices
  • ½ lemon in slices
  • 1 Tbs garlic minced
  • 1 Tbs Old Bay
  • 1 Bay Leaf optional

Instructions

  • Thaw the shrimp in the refrigerator overnight.
  • In a 5-6 quart stock pot, stir together the water, onion, lemon, garlic, old bay and bay leaf and heat over medium high heat until water begins to simmer.
  • Bring stock pot to a simmer and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together in the simmering water.
  • Add the shrimp to the simmering stock pot for 2-3 minutes, cooking until bright pink. Do not overcook.
  • Remove the shrimp from the boiling water with a kitchen spider and serve or use in your desired preparation.

Notes

  • Start with raw or uncooked shrimp. These can either be fresh or frozen. If they are frozen, you must thaw them first.
  • To thaw frozen shrimp, move them from the freezer to the refrigerator the night/day before you plan to use them OR you can set the bag in a bowl of cool water several hours before you plan to use them. Do NOT set them in a bowl of hot water.
  • You will want the water at a lively simmer. Remove any water from the bag that the shrimp are in before adding them to the simmering water.
  • How long it takes the shrimp to cook will depend on the size of the shrimp, the state of the shrimp before cooking (frozen, very cold, precooked, etc.).
  • The shrimp are done when they are bright pink, the flesh is opaque and they begin to curl a bit.
  • It’s easiest to remove them from the water with a kitchen spider
SUBSTITUTIONS
Shrimp – You can use fresh, raw, cooked, uncooked, frozen, shell on, shell off, tail on, tail off or ANY size shrimp you find for boiled shrimp. The idea being that it will take a varying amount of cook time for each of these variances. The shrimp is done when it is pink, opaque and curled.
Water – You can always use vegetable broth or chicken broth to boil your shrimp and this will add more flavor. Use seafood broth if you have it!
Spices, herbs and flavors – You can use any that you prefer. Just remember that seafood is already a bit salty so go easy with salt. Also remember that not ALL seasonings will go with the flavor of shrimp so if you are new to this, maybe go with the recipe to start.
 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How to Boil Shrimp
Amount Per Serving (0.25 lb)
Calories 112 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 0.2g1%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g
Cholesterol 183mg61%
Sodium 136mg6%
Potassium 353mg10%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 31IU1%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 93mg9%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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