Posted by: literallydelicious | February 17, 2011

Boiled Shrimp, Eggs and Egg Salad

Last week I got a text from my son. Don’t laugh, he said, but how do I cook shrimp for shrimp cocktail?

Photo by Jon Sullivan,

I didn’t laugh. I remember way back when I wanted to make egg salad. I’d had it in the dorm in college and in the cafeteria at the hospital where I’d worked and wanted to fix it at home. All the cookbooks I’d gotten as wedding gifts, and not one of them had a recipe for egg salad in it.

Remember, this was pre-Internet days. I asked around, and someone told me it likely wasn’t in the cookbooks because it was so simple; who needed a recipe?

Well, I did. I at least needed to know what went in.

(Boiled eggs, mayo and, if you like, a sprinkle of paprika.)

So I told the kiddo how to boil shrimp: toss ’em (with the shells on) into a large pot of boiling water, season with a little Old Bay if you have it, boil ’em for a few minutes until they turn pink, drain them, ice them, and eat them with gin cocktail sauce (in the archives here).

Sometimes we forget how daunting even the basics can be to people who are just learning to cook. Even experienced cooks can learn better ways to do little things — like boiling and peeling eggs.

(Eggs in pan, cover with cold water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover the pan, let set 15-20 minutes, depending on size of egg, drain water. For easier peeling, shake the cooked eggs around in the pan until the shells are well-cracked. Rinse with cold water, and the shell pieces should slide off. If that nasty little membrane doesn’t break, tear it, then peel.) 

I’m always looking for shortcuts and tips and just simple information, and when I come across it, I’ll share it here.



  1. Thank you for the egg salad recipe. I’ve never made it in my life. 😦 How sad is that? Have you ever roasted shrimp? It’s delicious, too, and can be used in shrimp cocktail.
    I have no idea which is better since you take the shells off before you roast shrimp, and lose that flavor.

    About eggs–Older eggs are easier to peel than fresh ones.
    Cold eggs are h-a-r-d to peel.
    Martha says let eggs sit in the covered pan of boiled water with the heat off for ex-act-ly 13 minutes. And Martha always knows best–in her book, at least. LOL.
    Thanks for the great recipes. You really should publish it. Yummers.

    • Oh, once I figured out how to make it, it’s been a regular on our menu here. It’s so easy — seriously, a couple minutes’ work, a 15-20 minute wait (or 13, for Martha!) and you’re eating three minutes later.

      Roasting must be the only way I haven’t fixed shrimp. I love anything roasted. I’ll have to give it a shot. I’ve been craving this sort of pickled shrimp that I’m going to have to make soon. It’s too good.

      I didn’t know that about older eggs peeling easier. Nice to know!

  2. I’m not laughing as that’s something I would have asked too.
    And, I did call my mother for how she made egg salad, tuna salad. Called home one day to speak to her on how she made Rotkole–red cabbage.
    Daddy was silent for a few minutes, then chuckled. Mother had been dead for 2 years.

    • That’s funny, Meg. Did you get the recipe someplace else?

      I learned to make tuna salad early on. When I was a kid, my aunt Shirley would take us to the lake and we always had tuna salad sandwiches, chips and cookies. I loved it back then, but don’t like it anymore. Now I like my tuna raw.

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