General Question

ibstubro's avatar

If you saute shrimp in butter, can you brown them?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) December 25th, 2015

I’d like to brown some shrimp in butter, but the butter has such a low burning point all I can really get is pink, or with some browned bits.

I’m using raw, unbreaded shrimp and salted, unclarified butter.

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13 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Why do you want them brown? Cooked shrimp are pink.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t know, because I’ve never tried it, but the only way I’ve seen “browned” shrimp is grill marks from a grill.

Seek's avatar

If your shrimp are brown, they’ve been incinerated.

ibstubro's avatar

I’d like a little brown crispness on the outside, @Jeruba, @Seek. I cooked Australian red 16ct shrimp tonight for dinner, and the butter was browned by the time they lost the translucence, and that was nice. I think I might be thinking of shrimp dredged in flour first, and I don’t want to do that. I brown fish on the outside without breadind or incinerating.

Yeah, I wish I’d had a way to grill, @JLeslie. Although it’s hard to beat a good sized shrimp in butter and fresh garlic!

Seek's avatar

Shrimp isn’t a fish, though. It’s a crustacean.

JLeslie's avatar

We had shrimp cocktail tonight. I love cold shrimp, that almost snap when you bite them, with a basic red cocktail sauce. I don’t like butter sauces in general. Too fatty, I don’t like the feel of all that grease in my mouth, and I think about my arteries clogging. Bad enough I’m already eating an “animal” food. Although, I do like shrimp wrapped in bacon. Lol. I like shrimp grilled also. Grilled with rice and grilled vegetables.

Shrimp dredged in flour can be quite yummy. I like it with a lot of lemon. You could do a lemon butter sauce.

Seek's avatar

The general rule is, cook them until they’re a nice C-shape. If they’ve made it to O-shape, they’re way overcooked.

marinelife's avatar

Browning them is not a good idea. Shrimp need to cook just a couple of minutes or they get tough.

ibstubro's avatar

Looking online it looks like the only way to brown shrimp in butter is to dredge them in flour. I might try a couple that way next time. My butter was nicely browned tonight, which gave them a bit of color and nutty flavor.

I have a few more pounds to experiment with. I’ve not cooked shrimp so large before.

Haleth's avatar

Shrimp will sear nicely if you know how to handle them! It’s incredibly important to start with an already hot pan. Turn the stove to medium-high or high and let the empty pan heat for a few minutes. To test the pan temperature, drop a bit of water into it. It should sizzle and dance/ bounce on the surface.

Drop a pat of butter into the pan- it should sizzle and melt incredibly quickly. Move it around in the pan so the bottom is coated. If you briefly sizzle butter in an empty pan, it will start to brown on its own, which will add a nice color and flavor to the shrimp. Not too much, or the butter will burn.

Have the shrimp ready and waiting next to the stove, and add them when the butter is just right. (Having them dredged with flour or spices beforehand can’t hurt.) They should cook incredibly quickly, maybe in under a minute. Move them around the pan so they don’t stick or burn, and take them off the heat the second they’re finished.

Shrimp are one of the fastest-cooking foods, so in a dish with multiple steps/ ingredients, I usually make them last.

ibstubro's avatar

That’s amazingly close to the way I cooked my shrimp last night, @Haleth and the browned butter gave them a nice color. They were huge, so I was afraid I would burn the butter black, but they came out nicely.
Certainly a balancing act.

ibstubro's avatar

Perfection! @Haleth.

While I finished deveining my 16–20 shrimp, I put my skillet on the gas burner a bit over half heat.
I added about a tablespoon of coconut oil and when that was as hot as the pan, 3–4 Tbs butter. As soon as the butter melted I added the shrimp, then the crushed garlic. When I swirled the pan to distribute the garlic, the pan side of the shrimp started turning up – gorgeous brown. I turned all the shrimp over and as soon as that was done, went back and stood them on end. Then back around to remove. So quick I forgot the Parmesan.

I had shredded fresh cabbage ready, and threw that in the drippings and seasoned with Greek seasoning (too bad I decided against buying the carrots). When the cabbage was soft, I gave it a dash of red wine vinegar and dark Agave syrup, stirred well, and ate.

A feast for the eyes as well as the mouth.

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