Shrimp is undeniably versatile when it comes to culinary preparations. Yet, despite its adaptability, there’s a compelling reason microwaving isn’t recommended for this shellfish. Shrimps shine when they’re sautéed, poached, fried, baked, broiled, steamed, grilled, and even when air-fried. With such a plethora of cooking methods available that beautifully highlight the shrimp’s flavor, why would anyone be tempted to simply microwave it? Especially when cooking shrimp traditionally is so quick and straightforward.
However, if you’re looking for a no-fuss approach, perhaps you might want to forgo cooking shrimp altogether. Fresh shrimps, akin to many seafood varieties, don’t need the conventional cooking process. A lime juice marinade, reminiscent of how scallops are treated in ceviche, works wonders. Once the shrimp is peeled and cleaned, simply marinate it (best done over ice) and refrigerate until it adopts a pink hue, which typically takes between 10 to 15 minutes.
Now, why should you avoid the microwave for shrimps? The cooking mechanism of microwaves is diametrically opposed to that of regular heat sources. Traditional methods like using an oven, stovetop, or grill heat food from the outside, gradually raising the internal temperature. In stark contrast, microwaves cook from the inside out using radiation. Anyone who’s reheated food in a microwave will have experienced the phenomenon of the middle being blazing hot, while the edges remain tepid.
This inside-out cooking method wreaks havoc on delicate foods like shrimp. The resulting texture is a disaster, and the act of microwaving seafood is notorious for producing horrendous odors. Just recall that one colleague who microwaves leftover fish at the office to imagine the olfactory assault.
If you’re mulling over trying that dubious microwave shrimp recipe that someone touted, reconsider. As the culinary maestro, Chef Guido Horst Jendrytzko advised Today, “Don’t do it.” He emphasizes that shrimp can transition from raw to a gourmet delight in a mere six to seven minutes.
Sacrificing shrimp’s texture and taste for a marginally faster microwave method is unwarranted. You’re not just compromising on time but also relegating your dish to rubbery mediocrity. The lingering foul smell will haunt your kitchen and potentially your entire living space.
For those pondering about microwaving frozen shrimps to defrost, the answer remains a resounding no. Using the microwave could obliterate its taste and texture. Instead, opt for safer thawing techniques like refrigerating or immersing in a cold water bath to preserve the integrity of your shrimp dish.