Throw them into plenty of fast boiling water, to which salt has been added in the proportion of from five to six ounces to the gallon; take off all the scum, boil the shrimps for five or six minutes, or rather less should they be very small, and the prawns for about two minutes longer. The shrimpers* of the coast frequently cook them in sea-water, but the flavour is not then so agreeable as when fresh brine is used for them. They are always unwholesome when not sufficiently boiled; and even more so when they are stale. As soon as they are tender, drain them well in a cullender, and spread them out on a soft cloth to cool; or dish them on a napkin, and send them hot to table when they are liked so. The large brown shrimps are considered the best, and they are more easily shelled than the red ones: these last, however, are sometimes preferred to them. Prawns, though superior to shrimps only in size, are always much higher in price.
Shrimps, 5 to 6 minutes if large. Prawns, 6 to 8 minutes.
Obs.—Ready-dressed shrimps or prawns may be preserved fit for eating at least twelve hours longer than they would otherwise keep, by throwing them for an instant into boiling salt and water, when they first begin to lose their freshness, and then draining them as above.