You might not know this, but 30 minutes of brining ensures tender, succulent shrimp every time, regardless of the cooking method. I discovered this technique on my own after successfully brining other types of meat - mostly pork, chicken and turkey. After experimenting with shrimp one day, I was blown away by how sweet and tender they were. Brining may take a little extra time, but it's absolutely worth it.
STEP ONE: Make the brining solution. For each pound of shrimp, combine 2 quarts water, 1/4 cup salt and 1/4 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until the salt and sugar dissolve.
STEP TWO: Soak the shrimp. Place the peeled and deveined shrimp in the brine solution, and allow them to sit untouched for 30 minutes at room temperature.
STEP THREE: Drain, dry and cook. Drain the shrimp in a colander and gently pat them dry with paper towels. Proceed with your favorite recipe: pan-fry, grill or saute. The shrimp always turn out moist and delicious.
Recipe courtesy of Mark Filippo, Chef's Secrets, Chronicle Books, 2004