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Old 08-18-2007, 02:08 AM   #1
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Hard Shrimp

I made pasta with shrimp and pesto sauce last night but the shrimp turned out to be pretty tough and chewy when I finished the dish. Might I have cooked the shrimp for too long? There's also a possibility that I cooked them not long enough (or rather not properly) because with all the lemon juice I squirted into the pot some of them were floating on the top. How long does it usually take to cook shrimp?

Also, does cooked shrimp always have to be opaque? If not, what's the purpose?

Thanks for your help.

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Old 08-18-2007, 06:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Easton
I made pasta with shrimp and pesto sauce last night but the shrimp turned out to be pretty tough and chewy when I finished the dish. Might I have cooked the shrimp for too long? There's also a possibility that I cooked them not long enough (or rather not properly) because with all the lemon juice I squirted into the pot some of them were floating on the top. How long does it usually take to cook shrimp?

Also, does cooked shrimp always have to be opaque? If not, what's the purpose?

Thanks for your help.
1. Yes, you probably overcooked them.

2. Yes, you did not cook them properly.

3. Yes, cooked shrimp always turns opaque.

4. Post your recipe and method for more help.
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Old 08-18-2007, 07:27 AM   #3
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Regardless of how you cooked them, it seems you way over cooked them!
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:38 AM   #4
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Depending on the size of your shrimp, should only simmer in your sauce 2-3 mins. (with lid on)
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:52 AM   #5
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Large shrimp take 2 minutes to cook. The word succulent comes to mind when describing perfectly cooked shrimp. They should be opaque, tender and juicy.
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:42 AM   #6
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I normally add shrimp right towards the very end of cooking the dish, Prawns take a little longer but not much, about 2 mins.

they`ll go from gray translucent to white with orange/pink markings when done.

any more than that any they go to rubber, cook them past That even and they fall apart into little fibers.
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:58 AM   #7
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In my humble opinion, it is hard to undercook shrimp. I too generally toss them in at the end of cooking, take a slurp of wine, then maybe another, and they are done.

Undercooked shrimp are not at all chewy, they have a texture I do not have the words to describe. But take a bite of one and you will understand.
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Old 08-18-2007, 11:37 AM   #8
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What I normally do, is have the pasta cooked and drained (at home), or heating up in a hot water bath in a stainer (at work). Heat a saute pan over medium-high (high heat at work) until it just starts to smoke a little bit. Swirl in a little clarified butter. Add the shrimp. Shake and toss for a minute or two, depending on the size of the shrimp, just how hot the pan is, and how fast the pan cools down. Once the shrimp starts to curl and turn colors, but isn't totally cooked, I'll add my sauce, toss it a couple times, then add the pasta, and toss until it's well mixed and heated through. Plate and enjoy.

Total cooking time should only be a few minutes, 5 at most. This really depends on the size of the shrimp, followed by how hot the pan is, then by how quickly the pan cools down. Small shrimp will cook incredibily fast, in just a minute or two. Larger shrimp, like the U/15's we use at work, take 3 - 4 minutes in a hot pan on a commercial stove.

This is one of those things that just takes practice, and knowledge of your equipment.
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Old 08-18-2007, 12:11 PM   #9
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Thats a common mistake people make overcooking shrimp and fish.Once you get the hang of it its really easy.When I make a soup containing shrimp I cook shrimp separatly keep in fridge and then just add to hot bowl of soup when serving.That way they stay nice and tender.
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:18 PM   #10
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In a hot pan you can cook large shrimp in about 1 minute, 30 seconds per side. Cooking them in a sauce adds to the time, but makes for better flavor.
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