Maryland Steamed Spiced Shrimp

Today I am going to take you with me for the Maryland Steamed Spiced Shrimp recipe.

This recipe for Maryland Steamed Spiced Shrimp takes me back to my years of growing up near the beautiful Chesapeake Bay. 

Whether we ventured into Annapolis for a nice dinner or just happened upon a local “Mom & Pop” style restaurant, this wonderful dish was usually on the menu. 

As a child, I viewed it as such an “elegant” meal because going out to dinner was a treat for our family.

Maryland Steamed Spiced Shrimp

When I eventually learned how simple it was to make, it became a regular on my own family’s dinner table. 

This reminiscent dish is incredible on a hot summer’s day with roasted ears of corn, some coleslaw, and an iced cold beverage!

What is the perfect size for Steamed Shrimp?

Now there is no cut-to-cut answer to this question because it really depends on person-to-person preference.

But if you ask me, I would say medium to large-sized shrimps are best and recommended, and why am I saying that? because too small-sized shrimp can be difficult to peel and eat, on the other hand, too large-sized shrimp may not cook evenly.

I always take shrimp that are around 21-25 counts per pound, therefore approximately 21-25 shrimp per pound.

More Recipes:

According to me, it is a good balance between ease of preparation and therefore helps in providing good texture and flavor.

But the size of the shrimp may also depend on the specific recipe, some recipe really requires extra large-sized shrimp and some requires small-sized shrimp, so it really depends as I just said in starting, different cooking method decide what is a good size and what is not.

Needed Ingredients for Maryland Steamed Spiced Shrimp Recipe

  1. Large or extra-large uncooked shrimp: I am using 1 pound of large uncooked shrimp with the shells on, the shells will help in protecting the delicate flesh of the shrimp during cooking, and it will even help in providing flavor to our steamed spices shrimp recipe.
  2. Water: Obviously we gonna need water to create steam.
  3. Red wine vinegar: I am also using red wine vinegar in this recipe, to add acidity and flavor to the streaming liquid. Vinegar will further help tenderize the shrimp and will add extra flavor.
  4. Lemon Juice: To add a sour taste and balance out the overall flavor of our dish.
  5. Old Bay Seasoning: Basically, Old Bay Seasoning is a blend of different spices, it is commonly used in Maryland cuisine. It is a blend of celery salt, black pepper, red pepper, paprika, and some other spices. All these blends give the shrimp a spicy and strong flavor.
    We will use 3 tbsp of old bay seasoning in this recipe.
  6. Cocktail Sauce: To give the dish a tangy, and slightly spicy flavor
  7. Lemon Wedges: I am using lemon wedges to garnish our steamed shrimp. Also, they add a citrusy flavor to the dish, and you can even squeeze them over the shrimp before eating if you want to enhance the flavor.

Maryland Steamed Spices Shrimp

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 mins
Total Time 23 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1 lb large or extra large uncooked shrimp, shell on (See Note)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • Cocktail Sauce
  • Lemon Wedges


  • If shrimp is frozen, thaw in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • If fresh, rinse in cold water. Drain and pick out any shell pieces. Set aside.
  • Place water, beer, vinegar, lemon juice and Old Bay Seasoning in medium stock pot (4-6 quarts). Whisk together and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
  • Add shrimp to pot and cook for 2-3 minutes, just until shrimp curls up and turns pink.
  • Drain and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Serve with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges. Shell before eating!


Note: You can take the shells off the shrimp ahead of time, before cooking, if you prefer. Shell on is the traditional way to cook this dish.
Keyword Maryland Steamed Spices Shrimp, steamed shrimp
Maryland Steamed Spiced Shrimp

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating