Is My Shrimp Undercooked? – A Surefire Shrimp Taste Test

Getting fish at just the right temperature and texture can be very difficult sometimes, especially if you are cooking it by yourself. If it is too warm, then this can ruin the consistency, but the same goes if you undercook it too.

Is My Shrimp Undercooked? – A Surefire Shrimp Taste Test

It is especially hard to tell if shrimp is undercooked. You might not have cooked it before and you might have seen various recipes that describe cooking it in radically different ways. But you can’t go wrong with the old-fashioned method – the taste test.

So how can you tell if your shrimp is undercooked by taste alone? Is it safe to eat undercooked shrimp? How long does it take to cook shrimp properly? Well, we have all the information that you need to make sure that your shrimp is cooked properly before putting it on your plate.

What Does Undercooked Shrimp Taste Like?

Well, in general shrimp has a very unique flavor and tastes very much like other fish. It has a slightly crunchy or should we say gristly texture, although once you get chewing it the flesh becomes very soft.

However, undercooked shrimp is very different. It does not taste like raw shrimp, which is very damp, crunchy and has a savory flavor. It also doesn’t taste quite like cooked shrimp, which is much sweeter, softer and with a tangy aftertaste. Undercooked shrimp will taste somewhere in between these two flavors.

If you have removed the shell, you might notice that undercooked shrimp still tastes a little crunchy. The texture will be wet and you might notice that the temperature of the shrimp is decidedly lukewarm.

This is the basic taste test that you can use to make sure that your shrimp is cooked properly. If you feel that it is not done properly, then you should put it in your griller, microwave or oven for a little bit longer. Shrimp usually only takes around 1 – 3 minutes to cook on a low heat.

Is Undercooked Shrimp Safe To Eat?

You’ll be happy to know that undercooked shrimp is safe to eat. So, if you have just taken a bite of your undercooked shrimp, you won’t have to go running to the toilet just yet. There are plenty of culinary dishes that use raw shrimp as the main ingredient.

Sushi, for example, contains a lot of raw fish in a lot of its dishes. You can eat raw fish, crab, lobster and shrimp. In fact, raw shrimp is actually a lot safer for you to eat than undercooked shrimp, as with undercooked shrimp there is still a higher risk of bacteria.

Both raw and undercooked shrimp are also edible, so you won’t have to worry about them tasting awful. It will often have a soft and rubbery texture.

But are there any dangers to eating raw or undercooked shrimp? Yes, there are a few risks, even though they are not excessively dangerous, you could be introducing bacteria and other things like that into your diet.

Can You Get Food Poisoning From Shrimp?

Can You Get Food Poisoning From Shrimp?

Yes, you can get food poisoning from shrimp, simply because bacteria spread on shrimp when it is undercooked. Undercooked shrimp is warm enough for bacteria to survive, but not hot enough to kill it.

The severity of the food poisoning will depend on how much bacteria you consume. You can be hospitalized for severe food poisoning, but if it gets treated in time, then you should make a quick recovery.

Undercooked shrimp can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, intense headaches and nausea.

The way to get rid of this bacterium is to make sure that your food is cooked properly. If you check the correct temperature to cook shrimp on Google and make sure that you are adhering to that temperature using a thermometer or a temperature probe.

This is a great rule of thumb that you should try to remember with all types of food, especially meat. If you undercook fish, beef, pork or lamb, then you will run the risk of getting food poisoning.

Is It Safe To Eat Undercooked Shrimp If You Are Pregnant?

You should make sure that you are cooking shrimp properly if you are eating it while pregnant. This is because the bacteria that might be growing in the shrimp could lead to serious health complications for the baby further down the line.

We would recommend that if you are pregnant that you avoid all types of raw fish altogether. This is to reduce the risk of food poisoning, which will put the mother and baby at risk. This means that pregnant women should stay away from sushi and other forms of cuisine that contain raw fish.

If you like the taste of raw shrimp, but you don’t want to get food poisoning, there are plenty of raw shrimp substitutes that you can get. A lot of these are aimed at vegetarians and vegans, but if you put them in a salad or a soup with plenty of flavors then you really won’t notice the difference.

Other Methods Of Checking To See If Your Shrimp Is Undercooked

If you are really worried about putting raw or undercooked shrimp anywhere near your mouth, then you’ll be happy to know that there are other methods of being able to tell whether or not your shrimp is undercooked or not. Here are just a few of them:

What Color Is Your Shrimp?

What Color Is Your Shrimp?

This is probably the best method of being able to tell whether or not your shrimp is undercooked, although you will need to know what you are looking for beforehand.

Raw shrimp is actually gray in color and will change quite dramatically once you have cooked it. If your shrimp starts off gray and is still gray when you remove it from the frying pan or cooker, the chances are it has not been cooked properly and will need a few more minutes.

Shrimp, when it is cooked properly, will turn white with pink shades. You might need to put your eyeball right up close to see some of these parts, but if you notice any dashes on pink, then you can be sure it is cooked just right.

If you can see through your shrimp, then this means it is not cooked enough either and you will need to throw it back in the frying pan until it turns white.

If your shrimp has a vibrant red and orange color, then this means you have overcooked it. You might also notice that there is a crunch to it when you eat it.

Is Overcooked Shrimp Safe To Eat?

You can eat overcooked shrimp, as the bacteria will not have survived under the prolonged heat. However, it might not be that nice to eat.

Often this dish will have a rubbery texture and have no real taste. This will certainly lead to issues if you are using it as the main ingredient in your soup, salad, or noodle dish.

That’s the tricky thing about shrimp, it needs to be just right. You’ll need to make sure that it has changed to that pink-and-white color all the way around. If you notice there is gray on one side, then you will need to turn it over and cook it on that side for a few minutes longer.

When you are cooking shrimp, make sure that you use decent tongs. This will help you to handle the small shrimp better and make sure that it is gone pink and white all the way around.

What Is The Shape Of Your Shrimp?

Raw shrimp will be a different shape from undercooked and cooked shrimp. Raw shrimp is a lot straighter than cooked shrimp, which is one of the tell-tale signs if it is cooked or not.

This is how you can tell that a shrimp is undercooked: it will not curl and will be relatively straight in much the same way as the raw shrimp. If the shrimp has a slight curve in it, then that means it is only cooked partially.

A shrimp that is cooked properly will be in the shape of a ‘C’, which means that it has been heated thoroughly all the way through. This is because all the sinew and tissue in the shrimp will have shrunk when exposed to the heat.

As the shrimp cooks more, the tail and the head will start to come together and it is not uncommon for the shrimp to form a perfect circle once it is properly cooked (Can you eat shrimp tails? Read more here). This is one of the most surefire ways of being able to tell whether your shrimp is cooked or not – and you won’t have to put it anywhere near your mouth.

You should probably not let it get to this stage though. If your shrimp is in a perfect O-shape, then the chances are that it might be on the verge of being overcooked. If it is perfectly round and orange in color, then you should take it off the heat immediately.

What Is The Texture Of The Shrimp?

This is another great method of testing whether or not your shrimp is cooked properly, although you might have to get those hands of yours a little oily first. In much the same way as a shrimp changes shape and color, it will also change its texture.

You’ll find that raw shrimp is quite pliable, and you will be able to bend it quite easily. You could compare it to the flesh that you would find in between the carapace of a lobster or a crab.

As you are cooking your shrimp, it will start to develop a spongier feeling, being very responsive under your fingers. If it has a springy texture when you press it between your thumb or forefinger or you try and pierce it with your knife, then this means that it needs a few more minutes of cooking.

If your shrimp is overcooked, then it will be very rigid and hard to bend. The flesh will also get quite tough and chewy, which will make it quite difficult to eat. You should make sure that you are keeping a close eye on your shrimp while it is in the pan.

To get a well-cooked texture of shrimp, make sure that it feels both raw and overcooked. The flesh should be soft but not too limp and very easy to chew. Once you put the shrimp in your mouth, you’ll know for sure whether it is well done or not.

How Hot Is The Shrimp?

How Hot Is The Shrimp?

One of the best methods of testing whether your shrimp is properly cooked is by checking the specific temperature with a probe. But how warm should shrimp be?

You’ll need to make sure that your shrimp is heated to at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that it is completely edible. This is when it will be considered ‘well-cooked’. This also means that your shrimp will be safe to consume.

You need to make sure that your temperature probe goes right the way through to the middle of your shrimp. The readout that you get from your probe is known as the ‘internal temperature’. The outer temperature is often different from the internal temperature, so you’ll need to make sure that it is 120 degrees right the way through to the center.

We would recommend that you set your heater to 165 degrees Fahrenheit to cook your shrimp properly. Make sure that you are turning the shrimp over. Because the flesh of the shrimp is quite soft, this means it will cook very quickly, so turn them over frequently.

Can You Cook Undercooked Shrimp?

Yes, all you need to do is toss your shrimp back in the frying pan and cook it for a few more minutes. As we have mentioned earlier, shrimp is very soft, so it really won’t take you that long to cook. You probably won’t have to cook it for any longer than 4 minutes maximum.


We hope that our guide to undercooked shrimp and how to spot it has helped you when you are next trying to tackle this delicate fish in the kitchen. Remember to fry it for only a few minutes and we would recommend a temperature probe for that extra precision.

Mark Williams
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