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What's your favorite way to prepare shrimp?

Be it warm water, freshwater or cold water, small or jumbo, fresh or dried, lets hear it.

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  1. Published years ago in the Mpls. Star Tribune, paraphrased:

    1 cup sugar

    2 1/2 t. kosher salt

    1/2 t. freshly ground pepper

    1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced

    1 1/2-inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled and minced

    1/2 t. cayenne pepper

    1/2 t. ground allspice

    1/2 t. ground turmeric

    2 T. unbleached flour

    Oil for greasing baking sheet

    24 jumbo shrimp, peeled, tail on

    Juice of 1/2 a lime

    Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Grease a half sheet pan.

    Combine the sugar, salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, cayenne, allspice, turmeric, and flour.

    Dump the shrimp into the dry mixture, and shake to coat. Shaking off excess, place, not touching, on the baking sheet.

    Bake until the sugar is caramelized, especially on the bottoms of the shrimp, for about 10 minutes.

    Remove the shrimp from the baking sheet to a serving platter and squeeze the lime over them.

    6 Replies
    1. re: sandylc

      Wow, that sounds really good, must try! Does 10 mins in a 500 degree oven overcook the shrimp at all?

      1. re: TorontoJo

        I don't remember it overcooking - I haven't made this for a few years, but people always loved it and it's very unususal. The trick to not overcooking is probably using the jumbo shrimp...

      2. re: sandylc

        Yikes! That's an awful lot of sugar! 1 cup -- is that correct???

          1. re: sandylc

            sandy it sounds great, what's the name of the dish?

            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              I think the paper called it "Teri's Sweet and Spicy Shrimp". I think she won some sort of contest with it on the Today show, if I remember the article correctly.

      3. If I can get them big, fresh, and whole then I prefer BBQ'd ala Mr. B's Bistro.

        1. Garlic,garlic,garlic with butter...with grilled bread for soaking it all up. Or....
          I also make a killer dish with Vietnamese Caramel sauce ( Nuoc Mau) for shrimp (cooked in the Korean stone pot) that is finger lick in'!

          1. Wild jumbo fresh simple sauteed garlic, lemon, herbs - parsley, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, minced raw garlic and roasted garlic. So simple, but so good.

            1. If they're fresh off the boat, just steamed (heads-on) with Old Bay or Zatarain's (depending on mood) then chilled and enjoyed with cold beer.

              1. Jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, then marinated for 30 mins or less in a bit of dry sherry and lemon juice. Then sauteed in butter and olive oil with loads of minced garlic and shallots and a splash of dry sherry. I'll serve these as an app on their own, or as a first course over a salad with grapefruit, avocado and jicama.

                1. Just plain old boiled (cajun crawfish boil style)

                  And I prefer them cold!

                  1 Reply
                  1. Probably my favorite protein and I love them any way possible, but I have to admit that I mostly do them two ways: boiled and coated in Old Bay seasoning (this is a standard prep here in Maryland); and fried with a light, dry coating (which also has a big dose of Old Bay).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Terrie H.

                      Wow, that's really interesting.

                      "favorite protein"!

                    2. Sweat a thinly sliced onion in olive oil. Add shrimp. Toss in lemon juice and a little vermouth. Swirl in a tbsp. of cream, grated parm, and (this will sound odd) a little garam masala.

                      1. I only really have access to the larger small ones. I enjoy them most in curry style sauces, especially in Korma.

                        I'm hoping to get some larger ones this summer that I want to use in a seafood paella.

                        1. The simpler the better. We don't buy farmed shrimp so when I can get large wild caught Florida Gulf shrimp I like a roasted shrimp cocktail with Jasper White's cocktail sauce. It's a combination of Heinz Chili Sauce, prepared horseradish, Worcestershire Sauce, lemon juice, sea salt.

                          If I only have smaller shrimp to work with then a traditional garlicky shrimp, Gambas al Ajillo, will do very nicely Thank You.

                          1. I'll never understand why people mask the flavor of any fresh seafood with strong flavors like garlic. What they end up with is piece of expensive protein that most often has the texture of a rubber band from over cooking and tastes nothing like the seafood at all. I only eat same day local fresh caught seafood. For shrimps/prawns I sauté them whole in a medium hot pan in a drop of clarified butter. Served with a tiny drop of fresh squeezed lemon juice. The cooking only takes literally a minute or so until the flesh turns pink. Twist off the heads and suck the juices out. I'd eat that instead of the body any day.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: Puffin3

                              You are very lucky to not be extremely landlocked. I eat very little seafood because it is so VERY difficult to get it even close to fresh.

                              1. re: Puffin3

                                I have not experienced this. I cook shrimp with a lot of garlic and still enjoy the sweet succulence of the seafood.

                                1. re: Puffin3

                                  Generally speaking well seasoned seafood of any kind brings out and enhances the briny, special flavors of the seafood, but does not overpower the deliciousness... Fresh caught shrimp included.

                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                    I'm trying to see the connection between using garlic in shrimp prep and overcooking. I can't find it. Shrimp scampi is a thing of beauty, done right. Done right being the key terms, here '-)

                                    And really, why bother with the tails if the heads are so awesome? No cats you could feed the sub-par tails to?

                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      Or how about lightly steamed prawns served with some soy sauce, vinegar and minced garlic dipping sauce? Yum.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        I happen to think garlic works well with shrimp -- more so than, say, with scallops.

                                        1. re: linguafood

                                          I happen to think garlic works well with ... garlic! I just love garlic.

                                          But I sort of agree with you. Something about garlic and scallops is certainly not as appealing as shrimp and garlic.

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            I think that the inherent sweetness of the scallops works against garlic.

                                      2. re: linguafood

                                        <Shrimp scampi is a thing of beauty, done right>

                                        I agree, linguafood. The fact that so many restaurants or cooks don't know how to prepare it properly is quite possibly the reason people don't understand why garlic and shrimp can be such a wonderful pairing.

                                      1. Ipse, shrimp are so versatile - fajitas, tacos, ceviche, camarones a la plancha, my shrimp - poblano - sweet corn soup, shrimp Veracruz, a relleno for poblanos, paella (tonight's menu), shrimp salad in avocados, and I'm still only south of the Rio Grande!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Veggo

                                          No kidding, right?

                                          But do you have a *favorite* way to prepare these things?

                                          Like this morning, I made some soft scrambled eggs with chopped shrimp mixed in. Wonderful.

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            Best I ever had were 6 head-on prawns, nicely seasoned and grilled, so large they hung over both edges of a dinner plate. On Margarita Island, Venezuela, during a dive trip. I went back for a couple repeats in days after.

                                        2. I love shrimp and enjoy it in many preparations. However, a memorable shrimp meal was actually whole shell on shrimp steamed with seasonings in an aluminum foil parcel.

                                          I was in Egypt in Port Said at a famous seafood restaurant called El Borg. Our group wanted to order grilled shrimp but one of the co-diners, a Malaysian (as a stereotype they tend to know food really well, and she did!) suggested that we avoid the grilled shrimp since it would likely come out dry, and instead go for steamed. The steamed shrimp was so delicious. The seasonings permeated the body and the head, and the shrimp was perfectly cooked. It was shell on but slit at the back to remove the vein, and it was so good to just eat the whole thing! I still remember how good those shrimp heads tasted!

                                          I have tried to replicate the dish once or twice but couldn't get the seasonings exactly right. But if I could get it down, then that would be my favorite method for preparing shrimp!

                                          That night we also had this shrimp-rice pilaf made with short grain Egyptian sticky rice...also amazing and something that I have not been able to replicate to a T.

                                          I visited Egypt a couple of other times and ate at two famous seafood restaurants in Alexandria, both good meals but neither compared to what I had that night in Port Said.

                                          However it is done, I like shrimp just barely cooked. I enjoy the texture most that way. I often like shell-on, too since it adds extra texture and flavor.

                                          1. Some people may disapprove of using garlic and other seasonings on shrimp, but I love highly seasoned, salty food. (Sometimes I see chefs on TV say things like "I am not using salt on this shrimp since it is from the sea," and I don't get that!) I love shrimp dressed in ingredients like lime juice, chiles, garlic, fish sauce, tamarind, cilantro, flat leaf parsley, not used all together, but just listing these to give a preferred flavor profile. For example, I love lime juice dressed shrimp ceviche: getting a bite of avocado, tostada, and shrimp with lime juice and red chile sauce all in one bite, mmmmh! I am not a fan of ketchup or tomato with ceviche or other shrimp, not big on cocktail sauce either, though.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: luckyfatima

                                              No disapproval here. I love shrimp in ceviche.

                                            2. I can't just pick one. I often poach them in water with a bit of white wine vinegar or lemon juice when serving with (homemade) cocktail sauce.

                                              Real big-ass ones are awesome grilled, with nothing but a squeeze of lemon.

                                              I also include them in my seafood pasta (linguine or fettucine with scallops & shrimp and whatever veggie I'm in the mood for).

                                              But yeah -- grilled, poached, stir-fried, pan-fried... 's all good.

                                              1. This one is always a hit for me...

                                                Florida Barbecued Shrimp

                                                1. My second favourite protein (crab being #1). I love seafood and my favourite preparation is as simple as possible.

                                                  Fresh shrimp...such a treat. Scalding hot pan. A pat of butter w a little evoo to prevent browning. I remove the shells and use them for stock. Toss shrimp in the pan and give them a quick stir fry. Then spill them on to a plate, give them a spritz of lime and a sprinkle of Kosher salt. Call me gleeful.

                                                  1. Don't have a favorite way. It's all good!

                                                    ......and grits.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                      I can't believe that shrimp and grits hasn't been mentioned before this. So good!

                                                      1. re: ludmilasdaughter

                                                        I'm doing that for dinner tonight, with a Cajun cream sauce. It's my best effort to duplicate a dish I had at a restaurant in Atlanta, which I still dream about years after. Mine isn't quite it, but it's damn tasty.

                                                    2. personal favorites...

                                                      broiled or steamed with ponzu


                                                      blackened and broiled/grilled with garlic spinach and charred corn


                                                      1. I'm giving up on shrimp. Last night they were awful in my farro salad. It's the second time this month my prawns had that amonia taste. Purchased from Whole F.... The same from another store.Where do you get yours ? Shrimp,prawns, whatever.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: emglow101

                                                          Try to buy white shrimp instead of brown shrimp. That strong flavor is much more common in brown shrimp, particularly texas brown shrimp. Some people actually seek out those shrimp for that flavor, but like you I find it extremely offputting. White shrimp are known for their milder flavor.

                                                          1. re: twyst

                                                            They were the wild caught brown shrimp from Whole Foods. Yuck,awful. It will be white shrimp from now on. Thanks

                                                          2. re: emglow101

                                                            I buy the wild caught at Whole Foods and have only had great experiences of the sweet succulence ocean breeze-y taste of shrimp. I did have a stint where I thought I didn't like shrimp anymore because they were chewy and just plain awful but I realized it was the Asian tiger shrimp which I had been buying so perhaps as twyst mentioned you might look for a different variety.

                                                            1. re: emglow101

                                                              I have a local seafood store where I source my seafood, which you can read about here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/854378

                                                              I generally avoid seafood at Whole Foods. Not only is it grossly overpriced, but generally not very good.

                                                              1. re: emglow101

                                                                Ammonia means they weren't fresh.

                                                              2. Big prawns from Costco. Marinate in some good olive oil, a glob of tomato paste, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper. Sometimes I add some dried red chilli flakes too. The longer they marinate, the better. Then grill until done, basting with the marinade as they cook. Squeeze fresh lemon on top,and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

                                                                1. Just made delicious shrimp cakes from epicurious. Another favorite would be shrimp in lobster sauce and shrimp fideus. There are so many ways, they are really a blank canvas.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                    Can you supply the link to the Epicurious shrimp cake recipe pls?

                                                                    1. re: masha

                                                                      I would but I have no idea how??? Sorry. The recipe is shrimp cakes with chili lime cream sauce. I have never made the sauce. I have made them many times with French or Thai flavours. It is just a good starting off point. Also I never use the full amount of panko, I use as little as possible. Make sure to refrigerate the mixture before shaping and frying. Enjoy!

                                                                      1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                        Is this it? http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                        (You copy the URL from the web page displaying the recipe and then paste into you comments here.)

                                                                  2. We are super lucky to live on the coast and catch our own or are gifted shrimp from our fire dept buddies that catch too much in season. We have it a lot!
                                                                    Yesterday we had shrimp salad on homemade bread. We make ours more into a spread ...shrimp, celery,onion, mayo,salt,pepper
                                                                    We love shrimp and grits
                                                                    Beer boiled
                                                                    Steamed in shell
                                                                    Cold boiled
                                                                    Fried is the favorite of kid 1
                                                                    Garlic sautéed
                                                                    Shrimp perloo /pilau

                                                                    And best of all in low country boil!!!!

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                                        Whack off the heads, and devein and cook quickly while they quiver.

                                                                        1. re: law_doc89

                                                                          You know, your post reminds me of a dish I saw when I was in China. It was called "drunken shrimp." Essentially live shrimp were placed in a jar of sake long enough to paralyze but not kill them, then eaten, so they were essentially eaten alive. Ewe.

                                                                        2. re: FoodPopulist

                                                                          I save shrimp heads last.

                                                                          Deep fry those suckers, then eat with some soy sauce and minced garlic. It's like a cholesterol bomb chased with some salty brininess ...

                                                                        3. I can eat shrimp by the dozens! Spent a lot of time in the low country as a kid eating fresh shrimp and blue crabs. By far my favorite shrimp is fried!! I do mine with italian bread crumbs, egg wash, bread crumbs again and serve with a tangy remoulaude sauce.

                                                                          1. My favorite way with shrimp is to sauté the cleaned shrimp lightly in Olive oil and butter, then spread it in a shallow baking dish (I use my quiche pan) and top with a generous layer of freshly made bread crumbs. Drizzle a good amount of melted butter over all, bake for a little bit to brown the breadcrumbs, and serve over white rice.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                              For a lot of people (esp those that like butter) you could make styrofoam peanuts taste good with that method.

                                                                            2. I had a few shrimp on hand tonight and had no idea what to do with them. I threw together a random assortment and it was delightful and the best we've had in a while. Sauteed quite a bit of garlic in butter, tossed in some red pepper flakes, shrimp seasoned with paprika and a dash of sherry to finish.

                                                                              I think this is similar to a Mark Bittman recipe that I've come across.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                Did you serve over pasta, or enjoyed as is?

                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                  Served alongside a lovely rib eye, but you have a great idea!

                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                      Yea, we get a little protein crazy in our household.

                                                                              2. 60 to 80 count whole shrimp flash fried in peanut oil till the shell is crunchy. Eat whole. Make sure to crush the head properly so the spine between the eyes doesn't stab you.

                                                                                We would dunk these in our beer and then dip into roasted black pepper and kosher salt.

                                                                                1. My favorite noodle dish, without which I could not truly celebrate my birthday, features lightly cooked shrimp tossed with pork belly, cracklings, scallions and rice noodles in a sauce made from the shrimp shells and the fat from their heads. It's the essence of shrimp and more.

                                                                                    1. Italian style: Fra Diavolo

                                                                                      1. I grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and we bought brown shrimp on the dock, washed, sorted & headed them, piled them into cleaned half gallon milk cartons, covered them with water and froze them to enjoy year-round. My parents still live there and are still doing this.

                                                                                        Shrimp season begins about the same time that we get the first yellow squash out of the garden. I love a squash and shrimp casserole!

                                                                                        Here is Mom's best batter for fried shrimp. Roll in flour, dip in batter, roll in flour, and let them rest a few minutes before frying in corn or canola oil.

                                                                                        2 egg yolks
                                                                                        2 c ice water
                                                                                        1 3/4 c flour
                                                                                        1/4 c corn starch

                                                                                        In medium bowl beat egg yolks and water. With wire whisk, stir in flour and cornstarch. Do not over beat, batter should be lumpy. Using a pie plate with plain flour, coat item to be fried light, dip into batter and back into flour and place on a cookie sheet to rest.

                                                                                        1. Ahhh, a simple pan fry with thinly sliced onion, garlic, Greek olive oil, served with a big wedge of fresh lemon and some nutty flavored brown rice!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: FoodWacky

                                                                                            Dear old Keith. This is absolutely priceless. Hang in there for the first few minutes and pretend he's cooking shrimp instead of langoustines.
                                                                                            Worth every minute.