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Shrimp steamed with onion and Old Bay over a salty sherry bath give these Maryland-Style Steamed Shrimp superior flavor.
Steamed shrimp is an easy seafood dish to prepare. It requires minimal ingredient In this recipe I will show you three fail-proof methods for preparing Maryland-Style Streamed Shrimp.
What you will need to make Maryland-style steamed shrimp
Large shrimp, shell on and deveined ⠀
Yellow onion, sliced
Old Bay ⠀
Salted butter, melted
Pot or skillet with lid
Steaming basket or large mesh strained
We Marylanders steam our shrimp with a quartered onion and lots of Old Bay. For sure, the Old Bay brings heat and flavor to this recipe but it’s the salty sherry steaming brew that really penetrates and season the shrimp.
How to make Maryland-Style Steamed Shrimp
I use a large skillet with lid and a steamer insert. Whisk together the water, vinegar, sherry, Old Bay, and kosher salt and pour it into the pan. Bring the pan to boil over medium heat. ⠀⠀
To a steamer basket placed over the boiling liquid, evenly layer 1/2 the onion shrimp. Sprinkle the old bay over the shrimp. (I use 2 tbsp per batch; this amount of shrimp will take 2 batches.)⠀⠀
Cover and steam the shrimp over constant medium heat for 6-8 more minutes. The shrimp will be pink and begin to tighten slightly. Remove the basket from the heat immediately to avoid overcooking. ⠀
Old Bay Butter recipe
Whisk together the melted butter, Old Bay, and a pinch of salt. Serve it as a dipping option for the shrimp along with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.
How to steam shrimp with a strainer
An alternative to steaming shrimp without a steaming basket is to use a large (8 inches) mesh strainer and a medium pot
Following the same steps above, work small batches (about 4) over low-medium flame. The lower temp is required as the liquid usage time will be extended by steaming in batches. You may need to add more of the liquid if it evaporates too quickly.
No basket steaming method for shrimp
You can still steam shrimp without a basket using a 12-inch skillet with a lid. Start by reducing the boiling liquid by half and adding it to the pan. The new measurements will be 1/4 cup each water, white vinegar, cooking sherry; 1 tablespoon old bay; 1 teaspoon kosher salt.⠀
Set the flame to medium and bring the liquid to a gentle simmer. Add the onion followed but the shrimp to the liquid in an even layer. Sprinkle with the desired amount of Old Bay.
Place the lid and steam the shrimp for 5-6 minutes then check for doneness. You may need to add 1-2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the shrimp and onion from the pan.
Maryland Regional Recipes
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Maryland-Style Steamed Shrimp with Old Bay Butter⠀
- 1 1/2 lb large shrimp deveined shell on⠀
- 1/2 small yellow onion thick slices⠀
- Old Bay to taste ⠀
- 3/4 c water⠀
- 1/2 c white vinegar⠀
- 1/4 c cooking sherry⠀
- 2 tbsp old bay ⠀
- 2 tsp kosher salt⠀
Old Bay Butter⠀
- 6 tbsp salted butter melted ⠀
- 2 tsp old bay⠀
- Pinch of salt optional
- In a steaming pot pour and whisk together the water, vinegar, Sherry, old bay, and kosher salt. Bring the pot to boil over medium heat. ⠀
- To a steamer basket placed over the boiling liquid, evenly layer 1/2 the onion shrimp. Sprinkle the old bay over the shrimp. (I use 2 tbsp per batch; this amount of shrimp will take 2 batches.)⠀
- Cover and steam the shrimp over constant medium heat for 6-8 more minutes. The shrimp will be pink and begin to tighten slightly. Remove the basket from the heat immediately to avoid overcooking. ⠀
Old Bay Butter⠀
- To make the old bay butter, whisk the butter with the old bay and a pinch of salt. Dip the peeled shrimp and pieces of onion in the butter. Enjoy!!! ⠀