My husband and I have been together for 20 years and married for almost 17 (times flies). In that time I have learned a ton about cooking from my in-laws.
Leave it to the Chinese to figure out a way to make each and every ingredient taste the very best it possible can. Their tricks/methods are usually really simple, but man do they yield great results.
This morning one of my clients emailed me to ask me how I prepare shrimp and though I have been using this method for years, it never dawned on me to write a post about it until today.
I don’t know if you have ever realized that texture makes a huge difference in the taste of shrimp. In my opinion there is nothing worse than soggy shrimp; it needs to be crisp and crunchy.
To achieve that crunch, peel and devein the shrimp. Place the shrimp in a colander along with 1/2-1 tsp of sea salt or kosher salt. Mix the shrimp and salt together with your hands and leave it in the colander to drain over a plate for 10-15 minutes (this is where the magic happens).
After 10-15 minutes some of the liquid from the shrimp will have gathered on the plate. Rinse the shrimp really well under cold water to remove the salt.
After thoroughly rinsing the shrimp, lay down 2 layers of paper towel and beginning on one side place the shrimp on the towel in rows touching each other. Once all of the shrimp are on the paper towel, cover with another layer of paper towel and roll it up (like you would roll-up a log of cinnamon rolls before cutting them). This will remove any remaining moisture.
If you are not ready to cook the shrimp, place the roll in the refrigerator until it is time.
I usually saute a bunch of shrimp in my wok on high heat with a little oil and then add some of it to a stir-fry for dinner, but I have also made them into shish-kebabs and grilled them. I keep the remaining shrimp in the fridge to use in meals for the next few days; burrito bowls, tacos, etc.
You can cook the shrimp using any method you prefer and I guarantee you will notice a difference because of the time you took to salt, drain, and dry them.