How To Prevent Shrimp From Curling Up While Cooking

Sometimes you want your shrimp to stay nice and long when they’re cooked and not curl up like a cute little kitten taking a nap. Especially when you’re making something like shrimp tempura, or any kind of battered shrimp so you don’t get that thick gloopy undercooked wad of breading in the middle — yuck.

I was so happy to have learned this trick, because it’s saved my battered-shrimp-frying life. And now, I’m here to save yours ;)

We’ll be making “release cuts” inside each shrimp before we cook them. By breaking the surface of the inside of the shrimp, they can’t curl up as tightly as before because of those little crevices are no longer fully connected. There’s a whole scientific explanation that I’m just unable to give you because I don’t speak nerd, but trust me…it works! The shrimp will always have a natural curl to them, but I promise they won’t be nearly as tight as before.

How To Prevent Shrimp From Curling Up While Cooking
With a sharp knife, make a tiny incision on the inside each shrimp, and don’t go cut too deep or the shrimp will fall apart due to lack of support to keep it together.

How To Prevent Shrimp From Curling Up While Cooking
Make a second incision about an inch over from the first one. These are the “release cuts” that will keep the shrimp elongated during the cooking process. Depending on how large or small your shrimp are, the location of each incision will vary. If your shrimp are very long, you can make an additional slit or two.

Once you make these tiny slits in each shrimp, cook them as you normally would. Like I said before, they will still curl a tiny bit, but not nearly as much as they would if you didn’t made those tiny incisions. Of course you don’t have to do this every time you cook shrimp but for those times when you want a longer piece of shrimp, this is how you keep that hope alive.

Bubba Gump would be proud ;)

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