Can You Cook Shrimp in the Microwave?

Asking for a friend.

It's summer. 'Tis the season to head to the deck and enjoy an endless array of shrimp dishes. It's the time for grilled shrimp, salads, lemon-garlic butter shrimp, and a list of recipes as long and flavorful as any assortment you can imagine.

But some nights, you don't feel like diligently prepping your shrimp, firing up the grill, the sauté pan, or the oven, and cooking. We are with you. But is it okay to cook your shrimp in the microwave? Can this shortcut save us time and yield flavorful shrimp? We hate to be the crustacean crawlers of bad news, but no, it can't.

Don't Microwave Shrimp

As a piece on TODAY.com on how to cook shrimp explained, "Microwaves are great for reheating leftovers, but when it comes to raw seafood, microwaves are not the way to go," writes Katie Jackson. "'Don't do it,' said [Guido Horst Jendrytzko, who currently manages a staff of 250 cooks on the Caribbean Princess]. Microwaves use radiation, not conduction. So basically, the shrimp will cook from the inside out, resulting in an unpleasant rubbery texture." So, there you have it. Do not zap these succulent raw shrimp for their delicate taste and texture.

Don't Reheat Shrimp

As for reheating already cooked shrimp in the microwave—that's a big no-no too. Per The Kitchn, reheating seafood in a microwave puts your fish at risk for overcooking, and the smell won't be too pleasant either. Instead, if you have leftover cooked shrimp, use it in a shrimp salad or serve over pasta or in a green salad.

How To Cook Shrimp

Instead of using your microwave to heat shrimp, try one of these alternatives.

Shrimp Ceviche
shrimp ceviche. Larisa Blinova / Getty Images

Serve Shrimp Ceviche

Now, as for those nights where you find yourself perched in the kitchen wondering, "what's for dinner?" only to realize you want shrimp, but it's 900°, and you don't feel like laboring over the stove or grill, that's what this raw shrimp ceviche is for, friends.

To make shrimp ceviche, peel, clean, and devein the shrimp before slicing it and adding it to lime juice. Cover your shrimp in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before draining it and adding cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, olives, cilantro, jalapenos, and more lime juice. You can also use lemon juice, mango, pineapple, or any other ingredients you'd like to sweeten or add some spice to your dish.

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
Caitlin Bensel

Make Air-Fryer Shrimp

Another simple solution to make shrimp is to use an air fryer. In under 30 minutes, you can prepare this Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp recipe which will taste like your favorite restaurant-style version but even better. This recipe has less preparation because you leave the tails on so you can hold them when eating. Try this coconut and panko-breadcrumb topping, or use it for inspiration to create a shrimp recipe of your own.

sheet pan shrimp boil
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Make Sheet Pan Shrimp

Finally, there are several ways to bake shrimp that are simple and require very little preparation. This Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil combines all the flavors of a traditional summertime pastime into one dish. The most challenging part of this meal is cutting the corn, potatoes, and sausage pieces. From there, it's as simple as tossing and baking.

Bottom line: If you're feeling shellfish, don't be selfish and toss them in the microwave.

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