The next time you need shrimp for a salad or any other recipe that calls for cooked shrimp, cook it yourself. Steaming shrimp is super easy and you will end up with shrimp that tastes so much better than the pre-cooked shrimp at the store.
You can use your steamed shrimp in a shrimp cocktail, dip it in a dizzying array of sauces, add it to finished dishes and salads, make appetizers, or any number of delightful things. By cooking the shrimp at home, you will find that your recipes taste better and your shrimp will not be overcooked.
Steaming Shrimp on the Stove
You can easily steam shrimp on the stove. If you have a steaming pan, great. If not, just pick a pan large enough to hold a steaming basket or an inverted colander in it. Place a couple of inches of water inside the pan. You can add seasoning if you wish. Salt, bay leaves, juniper berries, and peppercorns are all good choices. Bring the water to a boil. Place a single layer of shrimp in the steamer basket or on top of your inverted colander. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Let the shrimp steam for 2 to 4 minutes.
The shrimp is done when the translucent meat turns opaque white. The outer bits of the shrimp may turn pink or orange. Make sure they are done by cutting one in half at the thickest part of the shrimp. Place the hot shrimp in cold water to stop the cooking process. Use it right away or save it in the refrigerator until you need it. Steamed shrimp will keep for up to 5 days when kept covered in the refrigerator.
Cook in batches if you need more shrimp than this for your recipe.
Steaming Shrimp in a Rice Cooker
If you have a rice cooker, you can steam shrimp. Almost every rice cooker on the market has a steam setting so you can steam all sorts of foods. If you have not used this feature on your rice cooker yet, once you try it you will wonder what took you so long.
Place an inch of water in the bottom of your rice cooker and turn on the steam setting. Within a few minutes, the water will begin to boil. Once it begins to steam, place the shrimp inside, and close the lid. Check your rice cooker manual for steaming times, as smaller shrimp will take less time than larger shrimp. If you get large shrimp (16 to 20 shrimp per pound), it should take about 7 minutes to steam. Do not overfill your cooker or your shrimp will not cook evenly.
When you think the shrimp are done, check them. If you squeeze one, it should have a little bit of give to it. If you bite into it, the meat should be tender, not chewy. The meat should be an opaque color with red patterning over the top.
You can chill this shrimp just like the shrimp steamed on the stove or you can eat them hot.
Picture, recipes and/or content upgraded: 01-24-16
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