This Is The Easiest Way To Know If Your Shrimp Is Undercooked

If you have ever watched "Forrest Gump," you know that there are countless ways to enjoy shrimp, according to good old Bubba Blue. "You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. [There's] shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich" (via IMDB). It is, as he puts it, the fruit of the sea.

Given that there are so many methods of preparing the popular shellfish, it's something that even the most novice of cooks can whip up at home. But there are a few things to know before cooking shrimp. Unlike steak or chicken, you cannot use a meat thermometer to gauge the doneness — so how are you to know when your shrimp is fully cooked? Here's an easy way to tell when the shellfish are ready to eat. 

Fully cooked shrimp become a different color

One of the quickest ways to judge whether or not your shrimp are done is to look at the color. Raw shrimp — whether fresh or frozen — are translucent with a gray tinge. Fully cooked shrimp, on the other hand, are an opaque white with red and pink streaks (via Yummly). Bon Appetit adds that you will want to look for the thickest part of the shrimp — the part furthest from the tail — to turn opaque before you can be confident they are not undercooked.

If you are really concerned about the doneness of the shrimp, you can use a thermometer (although it might be difficult to get it into the center of the tiny crustaceans!) ThermoWorks says that your shrimp is finished cooking when it reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit. However, Yummly cautions that you should not eat undercooked shrimp, as it can contain bacteria that lead to foodborne illnesses.