When you steam shrimp, the shrimp never touch the water but are suspended above the water on a rack. You can steam them cleaned or in the shell. Many people believe shrimp boiled in the shell have more flavor. Use a pan big enough to hold a steamer rack or a conventional steamer. Many sets or pots and pans have something set up for steaming. An inverted bowl can be used with a rack or plate on top of it just high enough to keep the shrimp out of the water and allowing the pan to be covered.
Place 1-2 inches of water into the pan and add the steamer rack.
Bring the water to a boil.
Place the shrimp on the rack and cover the pan.
When the steam starts to escape from the pot, start timing. About 3 minutes should be enough.
Check after 2 minutes. They are done when the shrimp turn opaque. When you steam shrimp it will curl up when cooked. They will look like the letter C when they are done. If they look like the letter O they will be over-done.
When they are done, immediately put them in ice water to stop the cooking, and drain in a colander. They turn to rubber if over cooked.
If serving hot skip the ice water.
For information on other types of cooking shrimp clink on the following links.