Published March 1, 2004.
We wanted shrimp that were well caramelized but still moist, briny, and tender.
A good recipe for pan-seared shrimp is hard to find. Of the handful of recipes we uncovered, the majority resulted in shrimp that were either dry and flavorless or pale, tough, and gummy--hardly appetizing.
Pan-searing can produce the ultimate combination of a well-caramelized exterior and a moist, tender interior. If executed properly, this cooking method also preserves the shrimp's plumpness and trademark briny sweetness.
Peel the shrimp first, and skip the brining--the added moisture inhibits browning. Instead, season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and sugar, which brings out the natural sweetness and aids in browning. Cook in batches and then pair with thick, glazelike sauces with assertive ingredients and plenty of acidity as a foil for the shrimp's richness.list of recipes