How Do You Cook Frozen Raw Shrimp (With Steps)

by Ella

Shrimp, with their delicate sweetness and versatility, are a beloved seafood option for many. But for the busy home cook, the convenience of frozen raw shrimp often outweighs the allure of fresh. However, transforming those icy morsels into a delicious and succulent dish can feel daunting. Fear not! With a little knowledge and a few simple techniques, you can unlock the full potential of frozen raw shrimp and create culinary masterpieces that will impress even the most discerning palate.

The Thawing Dilemma: To Thaw or Not to Thaw?

The first question that arises when faced with a bag of frozen shrimp is whether to thaw them before cooking. While thawing is generally recommended for optimal texture and flavor, it’s not always necessary. Here’s a breakdown of both methods:


Thawing Shrimp:

Benefits: Thawing allows for more even cooking and helps prevent the shrimp from becoming rubbery. It also makes it easier to remove the shells, if desired.



  • Refrigerator Thawing: This is the safest and most recommended method. Place the frozen shrimp in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet and leave them in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Cold Water Thawing: For a quicker thaw, submerge the shrimp in a bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes, changing the water every 10 minutes.
  • Microwave Thawing: While this is the fastest method, it can affect the texture of the shrimp, making them slightly mushy. Use the defrost setting and proceed with caution.

Cooking Shrimp from Frozen:

Benefits: This method is incredibly convenient and time-saving. It’s perfect for those busy weeknight meals when you need to get dinner on the table fast.


Considerations: Cooking from frozen can result in slightly uneven cooking and a less succulent texture. It’s important to adjust cooking times and methods accordingly.

Cooking Techniques for Frozen Raw Shrimp:

Once you’ve decided on your thawing approach, it’s time to cook! Here are some popular methods for turning your frozen shrimp into a culinary delight:

1. Sautéing:

This quick and easy method is perfect for a variety of dishes. Heat a pan with oil or butter over medium-high heat. If using thawed shrimp, pat them dry before adding them to the pan. For frozen shrimp, add them directly to the pan and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes per side, or until opaque and cooked through. Season with your favorite herbs and spices for a simple yet flavorful meal.

2. Steaming:

Steaming is a gentle cooking method that preserves the natural moisture and delicate texture of the shrimp. Fill a steamer pot with an inch or two of water and bring to a boil. Place the shrimp in a steamer basket and steam for 3-5 minutes for thawed shrimp, or 5-7 minutes for frozen, until cooked through. Steamed shrimp are perfect for salads, pasta dishes, or simply enjoyed with a dipping sauce.

3. Roasting:

Roasting shrimp intensifies their flavor and adds a delightful caramelized touch. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Toss thawed shrimp with olive oil, herbs, and spices, and spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 8-10 minutes, or until pink and cooked through. For frozen shrimp, increase the cooking time to 12-15 minutes. Roasted shrimp are a delicious appetizer or main course, and can be served with a variety of sides.

4. Grilling:

Grilling imparts a smoky flavor and beautiful grill marks on your shrimp. Preheat your grill to medium heat. Thread thawed shrimp onto skewers or place them in a grill basket. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side, or until cooked through. For frozen shrimp, grill for 4-5 minutes per side. Grilled shrimp are perfect for summer barbecues and make a healthy and flavorful protein option.

Tips for Success:

Avoid overcooking: Shrimp cook quickly, and overcooked shrimp become tough and rubbery. Keep a close eye on them and remove them from the heat as soon as they turn opaque and are cooked through.

Seasoning is key: Shrimp have a naturally sweet and delicate flavor, but they benefit greatly from proper seasoning. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs, spices, and sauces to find your perfect flavor combination.

Size matters: Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the shrimp. Smaller shrimp will cook faster than larger ones, so adjust your cooking times accordingly.

Use the shells: If you have the time, consider leaving the shells on while cooking. The shells add flavor and help to keep the shrimp moist. You can easily remove them after cooking.

Frozen raw shrimp are a convenient and affordable way to enjoy this delicious seafood. By following these tips and techniques, you can ensure that your shrimp are cooked to perfection every time, transforming them from frozen to fabulous!

FAQs About Cook Frozen Raw Shrimp

Q1. How Long to Cook Frozen Raw Shrimp

Cooking frozen raw shrimp requires careful attention to timing to ensure they’re properly cooked without becoming rubbery. Firstly, it’s crucial to thaw the shrimp properly before cooking. You can do this by placing them in the refrigerator overnight or by running them under cold water for faster thawing. Once thawed, raw shrimp typically take about 2-3 minutes to cook in boiling water or until they turn pink and opaque. However, cooking times may vary depending on the size of the shrimp. It’s essential to keep an eye on them and not overcook, as overcooked shrimp can become tough and chewy.

Q2. How Long to Cook Frozen Cooked Shrimp

Frozen cooked shrimp require less cooking time compared to raw shrimp since they’re already cooked. Thaw them properly before cooking, and then they can be added to dishes or reheated quickly. You can steam or sauté them for 2-3 minutes until they’re heated through. Avoid overcooking as it can make them tough and less flavorful. Cooked shrimp are ready when they’re heated evenly and turn opaque.

Q3. How to Boil Shrimp Without Overcooking

Boiling shrimp without overcooking requires precise timing and attention. Start by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the thawed shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep a close eye on the shrimp as they cook and remove them from the heat as soon as they turn pink and opaque. Immediately transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process and preserve their texture and flavor.

Q4. How to Boil Shrimp with Old Bay

Old Bay seasoning adds a delicious flavor to boiled shrimp. To boil shrimp with Old Bay, start by preparing a pot of salted water and bringing it to a boil. Add the thawed shrimp to the boiling water and sprinkle Old Bay seasoning generously over them. Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes or until they’re pink and opaque, stirring occasionally. Once cooked, remove them from the heat and drain them. Serve hot with lemon wedges for an extra burst of flavor.

Q5. How to Tell if Frozen Shrimp is Cooked

Determining if frozen shrimp is cooked is relatively simple. When properly cooked, shrimp will turn pink and opaque. Additionally, they will curl into a loose “C” shape. Overcooked shrimp will become tough and rubbery, while undercooked shrimp will appear translucent and mushy. Use a fork to test the texture – properly cooked shrimp should be firm yet tender.

Q6. How to Cook Frozen Cooked Shrimp

Cooking frozen cooked shrimp is a quick and convenient process. Thaw the shrimp properly, then you can add them to various dishes or reheat them quickly. You can sauté them in a pan with butter or olive oil for 2-3 minutes until heated through. Alternatively, you can microwave them for 1-2 minutes, checking frequently to avoid overheating. Once heated, incorporate them into your favorite recipes or serve as appetizers with cocktail sauce.

Q7. Is it Safe to Cook Prawns from Frozen

Yes, it is safe to cook prawns from frozen. However, it’s essential to thaw them properly before cooking to ensure even cooking and preserve their texture. Thaw frozen prawns by placing them in the refrigerator overnight or running them under cold water. Avoid thawing prawns at room temperature to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Once thawed, you can cook prawns using various methods such as boiling, grilling, or sautéing, following the recommended cooking times to ensure they’re properly cooked and safe to eat.



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