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Do you boil shrimp in shell for shrimp cocktail? Do you boil the water first and then add shrimp?

asked by Bemidji over 3 years ago
6 answers 7773 views
added over 3 years ago

I don't know the correct answer to your question (so sorry), but I did just want to add that whatever the correct cooking method is, be sure to add lots of seasoning to your water while cooking! Some people swear by Old Bay, others (like my dad) need their clovy-herby spices.


HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

Shell and devein the shrimp. Leave on the tail, it helps with dipping later. Bring a pot of water with aromatics that K_squared mentioned, like Old Bay, half a lemon, whole peppercorn, etc, to a full boil. Add shrimp, give it a good stir. When the water comes back to a boil, drain shrimp into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain and serve with sauce.


Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 3 years ago

I'm with Sam. The shells add a lot of flavor. (When we get shrimp with heads, we leave the heads on, too. Then we just dump the cooled shrimp onto a pile of newspapers and have at them with some spicy cocktail sauce. Like this:

I'm also a huge fan of Zatarain's crab boil--it comes in spice pouches as well as liquid. It really flavors the shrimp.


June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 3 years ago

Boil the water, never the shrimp! Season the water, bring to a rollicking, frolicking boil. Add the shrimp. Put on the lid and turn off the heat. Set your timer for 5-6 minutes. Drain and stop the cooking by immersing the shrimp briefly in ice water.

Boiling the shrimp generally results in overcooked, rubbery shrimp.

Bon Appetit!

added over 3 years ago

A great trick to impart extra flavor is to make your icebath using your boiling liquid rather than just water and salt. Fill a container to the brim with ice and pour your court bouillon or whatever you use to cook the shrimp over the ice. Then, use that to shock the shrimp. That way, you do not waste the flavor you imparted during the cooking process.