Cooking shrimp can be tricky because undercooked, cooked perfectly, and overcooked are only separated by a few minutes. When they are undercooked, they are slimy and can be dangerous to eat. Overcooked shrimp has the texture of rubber and is very chewy. Shrimp that is cooked just right is delicious and there are a number of different great dishes that you can make with it. Take a look at the following tips to know when your shrimp is cooked.
Check the Temperature
The internal cooked temperature of shrimp that is cooked properly is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It is hard to use a thermometer to make sure that you cook it to the exact degree but you really don’t need to because there are other ways to know.
Undercooked shrimp can be dangerous to eat unless it is specifically sushi-grade shrimp. You may not be able to take the temperature but if you do, you will know that it should be 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Look at the Color
When you bring raw shrimp home, it is gray and somewhat translucent. Even if it is frozen, it should be a shade of gray. When it is cooked, it will be solid or opaque and it should be white with pink and red accents. The tail should be a reddish color. Do not eat it if it is gray or translucent after you cook it. This means that it is not finished yet. If it is bright white, you may have overcooked it. The other thing to remember is that your shrimp will continue to cook for a minute after you remove them from the heat unless you dunk them in an ice bath.
Examine the Shape
When your shrimp are raw, they have a little bit of a curl. They can be straightened if you try to straighten them with your fingers. However, once you cook them, they begin to curl. When they reach the shape of a C, they are perfectly cooked. If you leave them cooking longer, they will continue curling to an O shape, which means that they are overcooked.
Cooking shrimp may seem to be complicated but the key is to watch them while they cook. They cook faster than you might expect and there is a fine line between undercooked, cooked, and overcooked. Look for the shrimp to turn white with reddish accents and form the shape of a C. Once it does, it is ready.