Regardless of the final preparation, we have learned that shrimp of all sizes greatly benefit from 30 to 60 minutes of brining. Linda and I were so excited by the results of this method that we called Juliette to share the good news. She promptly burst our collective bubble by replying ever-so-matter-factly that she had been happily brining shrimp for years to which we said, "Thanks for sharing, wenchy. Apparently, we tell you everything and you tell us nothing." We are sisters, which means, in due time we got over the transgression. And unlike, our dear, lovely, cherished sister, Juliette we are passing this fantastic tip on to you.
Succulent Brined Shrimp
We discovered this method by reading an excerpt of "Chef's Secrets" (Chronicle, 2004) that included a recipe from chef Mark Filippo. If you are diabetic, the sugar, of course, can be omitted. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
1 pound fresh or frozen shrimp
2 quarts water
1/4 cup kosher salt, preferably Diamond®
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2. To soak the shrimp: Place the peeled and deveined shrimp in the brine solution, and allow to sit for 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature. Alternatively, place frozen (peeled and deveined) shrimp directly to the brine. When the shrimp are resting on the bottom of the bowl, they are ready to cook.
3. Final preparation: Drain the shrimp well in a colander and dry, if necessary according to your final preparation. Proceed with your favorite recipe: pan-fry, boil and shock, grill or sauté. The shrimp turn out succulent every time. Brining is definitely worth the extra step.