How To Boil Shrimp


Shrimp is an incredibly versatile and healthy seafood that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Boiling is one of the simplest and quickest ways to cook shrimp, and it’s a great cooking method for novice cooks.

In this article, we’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to boil shrimp, along with tips and tricks to ensure that your shrimp turns out perfectly cooked every time. We’ll also answer some common FAQs about boiling shrimp.

How to Boil Shrimp

Step 1: Purchase the Shrimp

Before you can boil shrimp, you’ll need to purchase it. Make sure that you buy raw shrimp that is still in its shell. You can buy fresh shrimp from your local seafood market or grocery store, or you can buy frozen shrimp from the frozen food section.

Fresh shrimp is always the best option, but if you do opt for frozen shrimp, make sure that it’s completely thawed before boiling.

Step 2: Clean the Shrimp

Once you’ve purchased the shrimp, you’ll need to clean it. Start by removing the heads and shell from the shrimp. You can use a small paring knife to do this, or you can use your fingers to peel the shells off.

If you’re keeping the tails on, make sure to remove the vein that runs down the back of the shrimp. You can do this by making a shallow cut with a knife down the back of the shrimp and removing the vein with your fingers.

Step 3: Prepare the Boiling Water

Next, you’ll need to prepare the boiling water. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the shrimp, leaving a couple of inches of space at the top. Add salt to the water to season the shrimp, and bring the water to a rolling boil.

Step 4: Cook the Shrimp

Once the water is boiling, carefully add the shrimp to the pot. Make sure that the shrimp are fully submerged in the water, and then reduce the heat to medium-low.

Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes, or until they turn pink and start to curl. Overcooking shrimp can make them tough and rubbery, so be sure to keep an eye on them while they cook.

Step 5: Drain the Shrimp

Once the shrimp are cooked, use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove them from the pot and transfer them to a bowl. Drain any excess water from the bowl, and then serve the shrimp immediately.

Tips and Tricks for Boiling Shrimp

1. Use fresh shrimp: Fresh shrimp is always the best option for boiling. It has a better texture and flavor than frozen shrimp.

2. Don’t overcook the shrimp: Overcooked shrimp can become tough and rubbery. Be sure to keep an eye on the shrimp as they cook, and remove them from the boiling water as soon as they turn pink and start to curl.

3. Season the water: Adding salt to the water will season the shrimp and enhance their flavor.

4. Use a large pot: Make sure to use a large enough pot to cook the shrimp. The shrimp should be fully submerged in the water, and there should be enough space for them to move around.

5. Use cold water to cool the shrimp: If you plan on serving the shrimp cold, you can cool them down quickly by placing them in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes.


Q1. How do I know when the shrimp is fully cooked?

A1. You’ll know that the shrimp is fully cooked when it turns pink and starts to curl. Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes, and check to see if it’s cooked to your liking.

Q2. Can I boil frozen shrimp?

A2. Yes, you can boil frozen shrimp. Just make sure that it’s fully thawed before boiling.

Q3. Can I boil shrimp with the tails on?

A3. Yes, you can boil shrimp with the tails on. Just make sure to remove the vein that runs down the back of the shrimp.

Q4. Can I season the water with anything else besides salt?

A4. Yes, you can season the water with other herbs and spices, such as bay leaves, garlic, or lemon juice.


Boiling shrimp is a quick and easy cooking method that yields delicious and healthy results. By following these step-by-step instructions and using our tips and tricks, you’ll be able to boil shrimp like a pro in no time.

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