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How to Cook Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail

You will be SO SHOCKED at how easy it is when you learn how to cook shrimp for shrimp cocktail. FAST and EASY are the words of the day.

How to cook Shrimp for Shrimp cocktail

How to Cook Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail

A shrimp cocktail appetizer is so very simple and easy! It’s fast and you can have this done and in the fridge in a matter of minutes!

Your guests will wonder how you did things so perfectly! Your friends will say, “Oh, she is a genius in the kitchen!” You can just give them a wry smile and a “Pshhhh” with the wave of your hand as you pass around your perfect shrimp cocktail.

You’ll want to familiarize yourself with our article: how to boil shrimp

Frankly, it’s only you and me who have to know these secrets. You may have cooked my Frozen Shrimp before or you might have cooked them on the stove top and neither of those are wrong! In fact, you can bake them in the oven too!

Sometimes, though, you just need the perfect shrimp cocktail appetizer and this is the one!

Be SURE to check out some perfect sauces like our cocktail sauce, tiger sauce and shrimp sauce yum yum sauce.

how to cook shrimp for shrimp cocktail on plate

Here’s How You Do It

The basic instructions for how to cook shrimp for shrimp cocktail 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.

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 Sauce Pan

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

How Long Does Shrimp Cocktail Last?

The precooked shrimp will last about 5 days if kept covered in the fridge. The sauce should last about 2 weeks.

Can I Freeze The Shrimp Cocktail?

Yes, you can freeze it but reheating is an issue to avoid overcooking. It’s best to just cook what you will eat at one time or over the course of a couple of days and keep it frigerated.

Tips and Tricks for How to Cook Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail

  • 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
cocktail sauce shrimp

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.

Let Me Show You How to Cook Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail

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How to cook Shrimp for Shrimp cocktail

How to Cook Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail

Easy, Fast and a great way to prepare shrimp for shrimp cocktail! Takes about 10 minutes start to finish!
Print Pin Rate
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to cook shrimp for shrimp cocktail
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
  • 3 cups ice
  • 3 cups water
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbs lemon juice

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.
  • While the water is simmering, prepare a iced water bath by adding 3 cups of ice to a medium sized bowl and 3 cups of water. set aside.
  • 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 place into the ice bath. This stops the cooking and chills the shrimp.
  • Remove shrimp to a plate, pat dry with paper towels, sprinkle with salt and lemon juice. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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 Cook Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail
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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Recipe Rating




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