Never overcook shrimp. An easy way thing to remember when cooking shrimp is to use the “C-O Method”. When boiled or steamed, shrimp are cooked when they curl to form the letter “C”. Shrimp are overcooked when they curl to form the letter “O”. Over-cooked shrimp are tough and rubbery.
Here is a guideline to help you choose which variety to buy:
Tiger Shrimp – Mild flavor, with a sweet taste and a crunchy texture.
White Shrimp – Mild flavor, with a slightly salty, shrimpy taste and firm texture. Great for salads and stir-fry.
Pink Shrimp – Mild to medium flavor, with a medium texture. Perfect for shrimp cocktail.
Brown Shrimp – Full, robust flavor, with medium texture. Best when used for full-flavor dishes like gumbo or for frying.
Deep-Fry Shrimp – preheat (canola, vegetable or peanut) oil to 375 degrees F. Carefully place a small amount of breaded or battered shrimp in cooker. Fry shrimp 2 to 3 minutes, depending on size of shrimp, until golden brown outside and opaque in the center.
Stir-Fry or Saute Shrimp – preheat saute pan over medium-high heat. Add butter, margarine, olive oil or flavored cooking oil. Any combination may also be used. Carefully place shrimp in pan. Stir-fry large shrimp for 3 to 4 minutes; medium 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 minutes and small/bay 2 to 2-1/2 minutes.
Grill or Broil Shrimp – Skewer peeled shrimp in a “horseshoe” fashion. That is, thread the shrimp onto the skewer at its large base, then at its tail so it curves around in a U-shape. Marinate, if desired. Place 4 inches above a preheated gas grill or charcoal grill at 375 degrees. To broil, place shrimp 4 inches under a heat source (leave oven slightly open when using an electric range). Grill or broil extra jumbo shrimp for 6 minutes, jumbo for 5 minutes, extra large for 4 minutes and large for 3 minutes. Baste with oil or marinade. Turn once halfway during the cooking process.
Boiled Shrimp – To get the best out of boiled shrimp, add a can of beer to the boiling water. Refrigerate on ice after boiling. Dip cooled shrimp in a tantalizing shrimp sauce made of ketchup and horseradish. How sharp you like it depends on amount of horseradish you add.