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Old 07-03-2009, 06:23 PM   #1
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Question Shrimp shell sticks to boiled shrimp

I have tried for years to find a method that would guarantee that the shrimp shell does not stick to the meat after "boiling". We do not boil our shrimp, just steep it for about 5 minutes.

Since we do not vary our ingredients or method and the shrimp stick only occasionally, I suspect it has more to do with the molt stage of the shrimp than with cooking method.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

Sorry, should say "sticks" in title.

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Old 07-03-2009, 07:00 PM   #2
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Fresh or frozen product?
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:49 PM   #3
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You are cooking them too long. Let the seasoned water come to a boil, dump in the shrimp and bring quickly back to a boil.
The minute the shrimp turn pink, they are done...it's never more than 3 minutes.

Most of the time, I like to chill'em after that.
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:32 PM   #4
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I use a pair of herb chopping scissors (blunt nose) to remove the shrimp from the shell - make one cut down the back and the whole shell will slip off, including the veins. I've never had them stick.
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Old 07-04-2009, 01:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leenorton View Post
Since we do not vary our ingredients or method and the shrimp stick only occasionally, I suspect it has more to do with the molt stage of the shrimp than with cooking method.

Can anyone shed some light on this?
That can do it Leenorton, shrimp shed their shells on or about the full moon so avoid buying those caught just after the full moon if you can as the thin shell will stick regardless of how you cook them.

You may be cooking them a little to long, just a few minutes after adding them to boiling is good, depending on the volume of course. I shock them with iced salt water straight out of the boiler. To help test the doneness make sure the shell is starting to lift along the top of the shrimp.

I cook mine likewise to Constance
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Old 07-04-2009, 07:25 AM   #6
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I’ve have found there are several factors that can contribute to this problem...Some more seriously than others. Extremely fresh shrimp... (Out of the water less than 12 hours) can often times be hard to peel...Frozen Shrimp that have been thawed to quickly/improperly --- In hot water or microwave etc. The peel will tend to stick. Marinating in high acid marinades can pre-cook, and when cooked again results in overcooked, hard to peel product. --- Under cooked product can be hard to peel... However, I have yet to be able to under cook shrimp. The molting process of the shrimp can be a factor....In coastal areas avoid fresh shrimp that may have just gone through a molt....In the interior areas where shrimp are “Previously Frozen” product...Avoid shrimp that seem to have very thin shells, and as mentioned, over cooking is probably the number one culprit IMO that causes hard to peel shrimp....I’ve never encountered the problem in my home, but have often experienced over cooked shrimp in restaurants, especially those with high volume buffet lines. The shrimp are cooked (over cooked) early before service, and are not properly chilled immediately after cooking...they continue to cook resulting in more over cooking... Rather than cooking by time, so many minutes etc, watch for the color change to pink, and for shell separation along the back of the shrimp...this can occur quickly or can take several minutes depending on the volume of shrimp being cooked. When the color change occurs, and you see shell separation --- It’s over! Get them out, and chilled in cold seasoned water.... Make your Court Bouillon to cook the shrimp in....make it good/flavorful and spicy....then remove a portion to be cooled/chilled --- Shock the cooked shrimp in the ice cold “seasoned” water to help maintain the spicy flavors/seasonings of your Court Bouillon.
HTH

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Old 07-04-2009, 09:59 AM   #7
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Thank you

Thanks to all of you. We buy our shrimp fresh, never frozen and we cook a substantial quantity so the time is about right.

I have always suspected the molt was the problem, glad to see confirmation. I guess I'll have to avoid them around the full moon. I'll just have to eat more at other times!

Again, I really appreciate the time and thought you have donated on my behalf.
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