Shrimp is an excellent source of protein and most health nuts and dieticians love to eat it also because of the high satiety of the ingredient and the extremely low-fat content. Shrimp also cooks very quickly, no matter what method you use. It’s very easy to overcook shrimp, so you have to pay close attention during the cooking process.
Choosing the Best Ingredient
As far as choosing shrimp, it all depends on the type and the size. You can also buy shrimp either fresh or frozen. It is best to just stick with fresh shrimp as to avoid any freezer burn or uneven cooking. There are several types of shrimp to choose from, and that is really just based on the consumer’s preferred taste. There is not a whole lot of difference in the types except for a few minor factors. What does matter is the size and how they have been cleaned. The shrimp you would normally see as cocktail shrimp are going to be U-15’s. This means there is about 15 shrimp per pound, and they are fairly large. When sauteing shrimp go for U-20’s or U-25’s. Any smaller and they will be too small and very easy to overcook.
Preparing the Ingredients
The prepping process will all depend on how you bought the shrimp. If they were cleaned, deshelled, deveined or had the tails removed will determine how much of that work you will have to do in order to get them ready for cooking. You can purchase them either way, but doing it yourself is still pretty easy. The tails and shells come off very easy and then you can just rinse them under water until the vein is removed and they are cleaned of any dirt or residue. Once they have been cleaned, there is not much else to do to them before cooking. Usually, you want to season them as they cook and not before. Salting them beforehand will draw moisture out of the shrimp and cause them to become dry and tough.
During the Cooking Process
Since shrimp cook very quickly, you want to keep a close eye as they cook. There is a very fine line between cooked and overcooked. If they become overcooked, they will become rubbery and tough. Once they start to gain color as in red or orange, this is a really good determining factor that they are done cooking and need to be removed from the heat. There is no temperature to check them at, but be sure that they are cooked. You don’t want to eat raw shrimp, as you could become very sick.
The Final Touches
Make sure to season the shrimp at the end of the cooking process with salt and pepper or any other seasonings you desire. Citrus fruits like lemon, lime and oranges go great with shrimp and even have the ability to cook them such as shrimp ceviche. So, after the cooking process, squeeze a lemon over the shrimp when seasoning them. You can also add some fresh herbs, rice or cooked vegetables with the shrimp as well.
- Place a non-stick sauté pan on the stovetop over medium high heat with a little vegetable oil in the pan.
- Add the shrimp to the pan with some minced garlic. Sauté the shrimp by moving the pan back and forth while stirring with a wooden spoon. Keep everything in the pan moving around as to not burn the ingredients. Cooking for about 3-5 minutes or until the shrimp change color to orange-red.
- Once the shrimp are fully cooked, squeeze the juice from half of a lemon in the pan and toss everything together nicely. Transfer the shrimp from the pan to a plate.
- Serve and enjoy!