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Close up shot of poached shrimp served over crushed ice with lemon wedges and shrimp cocktail on the side
5 from 2 votes

Poached Shrimp Recipe

Learning how to properly poach raw shrimp is a kitchen skill that everyone should have in their toolbox. It’s simple to do and produces perfectly tender cooked shrimp, ready for cold applications like shrimp cocktail or salads.
Author Diana
Servings 6
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Poaching time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 lb (450g) raw jumbo shrimp shell on, deveined, I used 16-25 count
  • 6 cups water
  • ¼ cup salt I used Diamond Crystal
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons cut in half
  • 4 cups ice


  • Remove the heads of the shrimp, and devein (with a small knife or kitchen shears, make a slit down the middle of the back to expose the back, leaving the tail intact. Lift out the black vein using a paring knife and wipe it off with a paper towel. If necessary, rinse with water.)
  • In a large saucepan, combine water with salt and sugar. Bring to a boil, and give it a stir to dissolve the sugar and salt in the water.
  • Squeeze lemon juice and toss the lemons in the saucepan. Remove from heat.
  • Add in the shrimp, and poach for 2 minutes.
  • After exactly two minutes, shock with ice to stop the poaching process. Allow the shrimp to sit in the cold water for 15 minutes, then remove from water and drain with paper towels. Peel the shrimp but leave the tails on. Chill until you’re ready to serve.
  • Serve over ice with homemade cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.


  • If you're using frozen shrimp, I recommend that you thaw before poaching.
  • To thaw frozen shrimp, either place the bag of frozen shrimp in a bowl in the fridge overnight or place shrimp in a bowl and cover with room temperature water until it's submerged, thaw for 10-20 minutes, or until completely thawed.
  • Feel free to add more flavor to your poaching liquid by adding fresh herbs like dill or parsley, or even peppercorns.


Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 191mg | Sodium: 608mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 2mg