Poached Shrimp

  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Cook Time : 3m
  • Ready In : 30m
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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.

  • Calories

  • Calories From Fat

  • Total Fat

  • Saturated Fat

  • Trans Fat

  • Cholesterol

  • Sodium

  • Carbohydrates

  • Dietary Fiber

  • Sugar

  • Protein

  • Serving Size:

    4 oz. (113 g) raw

Shrimp is affordable, a good source of protein, and low in fat and calories. Farming has drastically lowered the cost of shrimp making it one of the most affordable forms of seafood.

You can buy shrimp cooked or raw. Unfortunately, most cooked shrimp is overcooked. Except for popcorn shrimp, you are better off cooking raw shrimp. In most parts of the country, raw shrimp is available frozen, peeled, and deveined. All that is required is to thaw and cook them. Removing or leaving the tail on depends on the recipe.

Boiling was the method used to cook raw shrimp at home for shrimp cocktail and shrimp salads. Shrimp, like lobster, can easily go from tender and delicious to tough and chewy in just minutes. A more controllable method is poaching.

Like eggs, raw shrimp is added to hot, not boiling, water and allowed to poach 3 to 12 minutes depending on the size.

For best results use about 2 quarts/L of water per pound of shrimp. Using too little water increases poaching time and may not thoroughly cook the shrimp.

In the United States, shrimp is sold by number of shrimp per pound. Shrimp labeled 21/25 means 21 to 25 shrimp per pound.

Approximate Poaching Times

51/60 – 3 to 4 minutes*

40/50 – 4 to 5 minutes*

31/40 – 5 to 6 minutes*

21/25 – 6 to 8 minutes*

16/20 – 8 to 10 minutes*

15 or Less – 10 to 12 minutes*

*Actual poaching time will vary depending water temperature and how much water is used. Always check that shrimp are cooked through.

Cook’s Tip

  • To flavor your shrimp during poaching, add bay leaf, parsley, lemon juice, white wine, black peppercorns, or coriander seeds to the water before bringing to a boil.
  • Ice water bath stops the cooking process and prevents the shrimp from overcooking.



  • Raw shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 2 qt (2000ml) water per 1 lb. (450g) shrimp
  • Kosher or sea salt if desired
  • Bay leaves (optional)
  • Ground black pepper (optional)
  • Thyme (optional)
  • Rosemary (optional)
  • Parsley (optional)
  • Lemon or lime juice (optional)
  • Ice water (optional)

Method of Preparation

Step 1

Add water and desired ingredients to a large pan and bring water to boil over high heat. Remove from heat or turn off heat.

Step 2

Add shrimp, cover pan, and poach 3 to 8 minutes depending on size or until shrimp are pink, firm, and tails curl. Stirring is optional.

Step 3

Transfer cooked shrimp to a bowl of ice water to chill and stop cooking. Serve immediately or refrigerate in a covered container.

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