Sauteed Shrimp: A Quick and Easy Recipe for Seafood Lovers

If you’re looking for a quick and easy seafood dish, sautéed shrimp is a great option. Shrimp is a versatile ingredient that can be seasoned in a variety of ways to suit your taste preferences. Sautéing shrimp is a simple cooking method that involves quickly cooking the shrimp in a hot pan with some oil and seasonings.

One of the great things about sautéed shrimp is that it can be served in a variety of ways. You can enjoy it on its own as a main dish, or add it to salads, pastas, or stir-fries. Sautéed shrimp is also a great option for meal prep, as it can be cooked in large batches and stored in the fridge for a few days.

When it comes to seasoning your sautéed shrimp, the possibilities are endless. You can keep it simple with just salt and pepper, or add in some garlic, lemon juice, or herbs for extra flavor. Whether you prefer your shrimp spicy or mild, there’s a seasoning combination that will suit your taste buds.


Choosing the Right Shrimp

When it comes to cooking sautéed shrimp, selecting the right type of shrimp is crucial. Here are some things to consider when choosing your shrimp:


Fresh vs Frozen Shrimp

If you’re lucky enough to live near the coast, you may be able to find fresh shrimp at your local seafood market. Fresh shrimp are usually more flavorful and have a firmer texture than frozen shrimp. However, if you don’t live near the coast, frozen shrimp are a perfectly good option. In fact, most shrimp sold in supermarkets is frozen, even if it’s labeled as “fresh.” Frozen shrimp are often less expensive than fresh shrimp and can be just as tasty if cooked properly.


Size Matters

When it comes to shrimp, size matters. The size of the shrimp you choose will depend on your personal preference and the recipe you’re using. Here’s a quick guide to shrimp sizes:

Size Count per Pound
Extra Jumbo U/10
Jumbo 10/15
Large 16/20
Medium 21/25
Small 26/30

Extra jumbo and jumbo shrimp are best for dishes where the shrimp are the star of the show, such as shrimp scampi or grilled shrimp skewers. Large and medium shrimp are great for dishes where the shrimp are mixed with other ingredients, such as stir-fries or pasta dishes. Small shrimp are best for salads or as a topping for pizza.


Prepping the Shrimp

Before you can sauté your shrimp, you need to prep them. This means cleaning them and removing the shells. Here’s how to do it:


Cleaning the Shrimp

The first step in prepping your shrimp is cleaning them. Rinse them under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Then, take a pair of kitchen shears and cut along the back of each shrimp, removing the black vein. This is the digestive tract and can make the shrimp taste gritty.


Removing the Shells

Next, remove the shells from the shrimp. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Peel and devein the shrimp: Starting at the head, gently peel off the shell and legs. Leave the tail intact. Then, use a small knife or your fingers to remove the vein.
  • Butterfly the shrimp: Starting at the head, use a sharp knife to cut down the back of the shrimp, stopping just before the tail. Gently open the shrimp and remove the vein.
  • Leave the shells on: If you prefer, you can leave the shells on the shrimp for added flavor. Just make sure to remove the vein.

Once your shrimp are cleaned and shelled, you’re ready to sauté them to perfection.


Sauteing the Shrimp


Selecting the Right Pan

When it comes to sauteing shrimp, the right pan is crucial. You want a pan that can conduct heat evenly and quickly, so a stainless steel or cast iron pan is a good choice. A non-stick pan is also an option, but be sure to use a heat-resistant oil as non-stick pans can release toxins at high temperatures.


Choosing the Right Oil

The oil you use for sauteing shrimp can greatly affect the flavor and texture of the dish. A high smoke point oil like canola, grapeseed, or avocado oil is recommended. Avoid using olive oil as it has a low smoke point and can burn easily.


Cooking the Shrimp

When cooking shrimp, it’s important to not overcrowd the pan. This can cause the shrimp to steam instead of saute, resulting in a less desirable texture. Cook the shrimp in batches if necessary.

Start by heating the pan over medium-high heat and adding the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until they are pink and slightly browned. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp as they can become tough and rubbery.

Once the shrimp are cooked, remove them from the pan and serve immediately.


Serving Suggestions

After cooking up a batch of delicious sautéed shrimp, you may be wondering how to serve it. Here are some ideas to help you get started:


Pairing with Other Ingredients

Shrimp is a versatile protein that can be paired with a variety of other ingredients to create a balanced and flavorful meal. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Serve your shrimp over a bed of rice or quinoa for a filling and satisfying meal.
  • Add some veggies to your shrimp sauté, such as bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms, for added flavor and nutrition.
  • Pair your shrimp with a light salad for a refreshing and healthy meal option.
  • For a more indulgent meal, serve your shrimp with a side of creamy pasta or cheesy grits.


Garnishing the Dish

Adding a few finishing touches to your sautéed shrimp can take it to the next level. Here are some garnishing ideas to consider:

Garnish Description
Lemon Wedges Squeeze fresh lemon juice over your shrimp for a bright and zesty flavor.
Parsley Sprinkle chopped parsley over your shrimp for a pop of color and fresh herb flavor.
Red Pepper Flakes Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to your shrimp for a spicy kick.
Chives Finely chop some chives and sprinkle them over your shrimp for a delicate onion flavor.

With these serving suggestions, you’ll be able to create a delicious and satisfying meal using your sautéed shrimp. Enjoy!