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Basic Shellfish Cooking Tips

Just starting to learn how to cook shellfish? These basic shellfish cooking tips will get you on the right path to being a great cook.

The first and most important thing when cooking any shellfish is to not to over cook it. Also remember that it will still keep cooking after you have removed it from the heat. So you can pull it off a little early to avoid overcooking it.

Cooking Tips for Shellfish

  • Never thaw your shellfish in a microwave, the microwave will start to cook it during the defrosting stage.
  • Raw Shrimp in the shell will turn pink and firm. It takes about 3 to 5 minutes to boil or steam 1 pound of medium shrimp.
  • If boiling or steaming shrimp in the shell remove from heat and emerge in ice water immediately to stop the cooking.
  • Mussels, Clams and Oysters in the shell will open when steaming or roasting them. Remove them when they open and serve. If they don't open during cooking throw them out, they are no good.
  • Scallops will turn opaque and firm up when cooking. Depending on the size of them, figure about 1 1/2 to 5 minutes of cooking time.
  • Live Lobster will turn red as soon as they hit the hot water. Figure 12 minutes for the first pound and 4 minutes for each additional pound the lobster weighs.
  • Always rinse your shellfish under cold water before cooking.


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