Here’s Why People Are Sugaring Their Shrimp

Shrimp sits in a saute pan.
Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock.com

You’ve probably learned some food tricks online, like adding salt to your coffee to mask the bitterness or using tomato paste to give a cheap steak more flavor. But now, there’s an especially odd hack floating around that involves sugaring shrimp.

Yes, you read that correctly: people are really adding sugar to their shrimp. While eating sweet shellfish might sound, well, not great, it actually won’t make your shrimp alfredo taste like a dessert. Rather, it helps brown and caramelize the shrimp for a better, tastier sear.

The idea came from Andrew Janjigian, contributor at Serious Eats and former test cook at Cook’s Illustrated. When he created a series of pan-seared shrimp recipes, Janjigian also shared a few tips for ensuring your seafood never becomes rubbery, and adding sugar was one of them.

Janjigian recommends adding just a pinch of sugar to your shrimp so it will brown better when added to the pan. As a result, they’ll get a perfect caramelized outer layer, while staying juicy and non-rubbery on the inside.

But this wasn’t his only cooking tip. Janjigian also recommends oiling your shrimp, not your pan. This technique ensures every shrimp is coated, whereas, if you simply oil the pan, you can’t ensure this.

Now that you know why sugar makes shrimp more delicious, here’s why you might want to try it on your steak, too.

[Via America’s Test Kitchen]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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