There are a few ways to cook shrimp (or prawns as they are commonly called in Canada and the UK), however far and beyond, the best way to cook them is by grilling. Since I feel grilling is the best way to cook your shrimp, I will go over exactly how to do it in this article.
First of all, if you bought fresh shrimp, fully in tact, you are going to want to remove the vein. Contrary to popular belief, if the shrimp is properly cooked, the vein should raise no health risks. Removing the vein has two purposes, the first being that it is kind of gross and you will want to remove it either way before eating it. The second reason is the slit we create to remove the vein is the best place to apply your marinade or seasoning.
To remove the shrimp vein, use a small paring knife and cut the shrimp down the back. Use your fingers or some teasers to pick out the vein. Once you've removed the vein, you are going to want to apply seasoning or your marinade of choice in this slit. Reason being is seasoning/marinade will not permeate the shell, so the slit provides an opening directly into the 'meat' of the shrimp to get your flavor absorbed. If the shrimp you purchased has already had the vein removed, you can proceed directly to marinating them!
Next, in order to prevent your shrimp from falling through the grill, you are going to want to put them on skewers. There are a few ways you can place the shrimp on skewers. The first way is lengthwise. The problem with putting the shrimps lengthwise is it prevents the shrimp from curling when cooking, which makes them less aesthetically pleasing when served. The other way to place them on the skewers is by having the skewer go through the tale and near the head of the prawn and making sure they are not squished on the skewer. By having them placed on the skewer using this method, you allow the shrimp to maintain its naturally curled shape, providing a much nicer shrimp to look at when you serve them up.
Once you have your shrimp all on skewers, its time to heat up the grill! Pre-heat your grill to a medium temperature. Once pre-heated place your prawn skewers on the grill and cook until the side being cooked turns pink. As soon as it turns pink, flip them over and cook the other side. As soon as the second side is also pink, remove the shrimp immediately. As soon as the entire surface of both sides of the shrimp has turned pink, you know they have finished cooking. Raw shrimp are a grayish blue color, which makes it very easy to tell if they have completed cooking. You want to be very careful not to overcook your shrimp or they will be very rubbery and not nearly as enjoyable.
Enjoy your shrimp skewers as an addition to your meal or as the entree