How to Steam Shrimp: Tips and Tricks

Are you a fan of shrimp, but unsure of how to prepare it through steaming? Steaming is one of the most popular and healthy ways to cook shrimp. It preserves the flavor and texture of the shrimp while retaining its nutritional value. In this article, we’ll share some tips and tricks on how to steam shrimp that will result in a perfectly cooked dish that’s both delicious and nutritious.

Choosing the Right Shrimp

When choosing shrimp, it’s important to select the freshest shrimp available. Look for shrimp that has a firm texture, and a glossy, translucent appearance. Check the shrimp’s smell–it should have a fresh, oceanic scent. Avoid shrimp that has a strong, ammonia-like odor, a slimy texture, or a dull color. Additionally, make sure to choose shrimp that’s the right size for your recipe.

Preparing the Shrimp

Before steaming the shrimp, it’s important to prepare them properly. Start by deveining the shrimp, which is the process of removing the dark vein that runs along its back. To do so, use a sharp knife to make a shallow cut along the back of the shrimp, then use your fingers or a tool to pull the vein out. Rinse the shrimp under cold water to remove any remaining bits.

Seasoning the Shrimp

While steaming is a healthy cooking method, it can sometimes result in bland-tasting shrimp. To add flavor to your shrimp, consider seasoning it with herbs and spices. Some popular seasoning options include garlic, ginger, cumin, paprika, and red pepper flakes. You can also experiment with different sauces and marinades, such as soy sauce or teriyaki sauce.

The Steaming Process

To steam shrimp, you’ll need a steamer basket and a pot. Add water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Place the shrimp in the steamer basket and place the basket over the pot. Cover the pot with a lid and allow the shrimp to steam for about 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp turns pink and the flesh is opaque. Overcooking can result in rubbery shrimp, so be sure to keep an eye on it.

Using Flavorful Liquids

Another way to add flavor to your steamed shrimp is to use flavorful liquids in the steaming process. You can use chicken broth, vegetable broth, white wine, or even beer. The steam from the liquid will infuse the shrimp with additional flavor. You can also add herbs and spices to the liquid for even more taste.

Adding Vegetables

If you want to make a complete meal out of steamed shrimp, consider adding vegetables to the steaming basket. Vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, and carrots are a great complement to shrimp. Adding vegetables also makes the meal more nutritious and filling.

Cold Water Bath

After steaming the shrimp, it’s important to stop the cooking process immediately to prevent overcooking. A cold water bath is the best way to do this. Simply remove the shrimp from the steamer basket and place it in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes. This will help cool the shrimp down and preserve its texture and flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Steamed shrimp can be served in a variety of ways. You can serve it as an appetizer with cocktail sauce, or as a main course with rice and vegetables. You can also use it in salads, soups, or stir-fries. Shrimp is versatile and can be used in many different types of dishes.

Storage Tips

If you have leftover steamed shrimp, store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will last for up to three days. To reheat, simply steam the shrimp again for a few minutes until it’s heated through.


Steamed shrimp is a healthy and delicious dish that’s easy to prepare. With the tips and tricks in this article, you’ll be able to steam shrimp like a pro. Remember to choose the freshest shrimp, prepare it properly, season it to taste, and use a flavorful liquid for steaming. Adding vegetables is also a great way to make the meal more nutritious. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly cooked steamed shrimp every time.

Tips: Don’t overcook shrimp, use a cold water bath to stop the cooking process, and experiment with different seasonings and sauces for added flavor.

Until next time, happy cooking!