The short answer to the easy question, how long to fry shrimp is literally two to three minutes only no matter what size it is. Frying for this long will get it to just the right stage of delicious juiciness to tantalize your taste buds.
If you leave it for longer, you will overcook it and it will be dried out and, literally, taste like sawdust. It will not pop in your mouth – instead, it will be flat, with zero crunches.
You might think that there is an art to cooking shrimp, and you would be right – not everyone knows how long to fry shrimp! Some families grow up learning how to fry shrimp as a rite of passage to adulthood, that’s how important and delicate it is.
Let’s Look At Some Interesting And Fun Facts Quickly
- Most seafood is healthy and very tasty, especially fried shrimp.
- 3 ounces of shrimp adds up to 85 calories whereas a beef steak is 214 calories, and a piece of chicken breast is 157 calories – those are not so bad, but when you compare shrimp to bacon, you get a big shock – bacon is 287 calories!
- Shrimp is very popular as the main meal at a dinner party, as long as it is not overcooked;
- Americans eat one billion pounds of shrimp every year;
- Every shrimp is a male and then becomes a female – fancy that?
- Snapping shrimps make a noise louder than a jet engine or a gunshot – imagine that?!
Steps On How To Fry Shrimp
Step 1: Defrost
Just like all sea food, shrimp tastes better if the centre is cooked through. You cannot cook a shrimp from frozen as then the center will be all mushy. Thawing shrimp with hot water is also not the answer. The best thing is to let it defrost slowly at room temperature.
Step 2: Devein
It is very important to devein shrimp before cooking them. Some people like the vein in and say it adds to the taste, but generally the rule is to take it out. It has also been said that this little vein is poisonous – probably because it is actually the shrimp’s digestive system, and more plainly, it is shrimp poop!
Step 3: To Peel Or Not To Peel
If you are peeling the shrimps, then you can take the veins out once the shells are off. Or if you prefer to keep the shells on and keep all the juice and flavor inside the shell, you need to slit the shell down the back side – with a sharp knife – and pull the vein out.
In this way, the shrimp becomes easier to peel when cooked, and if you are having them marinated, opening the back side will allow the marinate to penetrate and flavor the shrimp beautifully.
Step 4: Soak In Brine
Soaking in brine makes the shrimp meat wonderfully tender. Keep away from anything with acids in it because then you will end up with lumpy shrimps.
Brine can be made with a ¼ salt and a ¼ sugar mixed in 2 cups of water. Then leave the shrimp to soak for ½ an hour. And if you are wondering how long to fry shrimp for after this – the answer is three to four minutes.
Another mixture for soaking in brine is to mix salt and baking soda, then let the shrimp soak for 15 minutes in the bridge, then take out and you are ready to fry your shrimp. They will turn out moist, sweet, crisp and tasty!
Step 5: Do Not Walk Away
One of the most important things to do when frying your shrimps is not to put them on to fry and then walk away – oh no – you have to sit right down and watch them fry or else you will overcook them.
Frying seems to take long, but it is actually very quick. If you walk away you can kiss goodbye to tender, tasty shrimp.
Step 6: Are They Ready?
When the shrimp has turned pink and the shell is curled, you know they are ready.
Any frying after this will turn them into sawdust! Remove them from the pan but do not cover them as this will change the texture of the shrimp meat because you are sealing in the moisture. This then causes the shell to stick to the shrimp and it is not very nice to fight with your shrimp while trying to peel the stubborn shell off. So be careful here.
So you can see that the answer to the question of how long to fry shrimp is really very simple – no longer than two or three minutes. But you have to remember that the shape of the shrimp and the color also plays an important role. Once you get the hang of it, you can have shrimp more often for a meal – remembering of course – that shrimp is a delicacy
Shrimp can be cooked in over 1 000 different ways – can you imagine? However, now you know how long to fry shrimp you can finally appreciate their tenderness and tastiness. Shrimp is known for being tender, juicy and succulent – do not ruin it by overcooking it!
And remember the secret to the best shrimp is not to walk away while you are frying it. It is so easy for them to become overcooked and too pink, and then you know you have gone too far, and they will be difficult to get out of their shells. Be careful – and have fun!