Poaching shrimp

Poaching shrimp

Poaching shrimp 1920 2560 Daryl Duarte

Poaching shrimp

This is a basic technique which will yield a delicious, tender and moist shrimp for your cocktail hour celebrations.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Course Appetizer


  • 10 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 shrimp per guest


Making the poaching "tea"

  • Combine the bay leaf, peppercorns and salt into a 4 quart sauce pan with the water.
  • Bring this to a boil, then reduce heat and cover.
  • Allow the poaching tea to steep - for 10 minutes.

Poaching the shrimp

  • Increase the heat on the pan so the water is just below a simmer.
  • add the shrimp - all at once and stir to distribute evenly.
  • Cook for about 1 minute - making sure you do not let the water come to a boil.
  • Test one shrimp - to see that it is "firm" to the touch. They are hot - so be careful.
  • Strain immediately - and the distribute the shrimp, and peppercorns and bay leaf on a cooling tray.
  • After cool - place them into a storage container, cover and refridgerate.

To serve

  • Remove the peppercorns and discard.
  • Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the shrimp and toss to coat.
  • Place them in a decorate serving bowl and garnish with another slice of lemon or some parsley.
  • Serve with cocktail sauce.


The amount of shrimp you prepare for poaching is adjusted to your guest size.  If David and I are having a cocktail hour for 2, then I make 4 shrimp.  I believe 2 each is the appropriate amount of shrimp per guest.  Large groups will consume more - and some folks will consume more than 2 if you are not passing these as an hors' d'oeuvre.  I sometimes announce "There are two per guest - if you want more - you must barter with someone!"    
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