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Nov 2, 2007 11:18 AM

Brining Shrimp before cooking?

I saw something recently about brining shrimp, for a few minutes, before cooking, properly rinsing first, of course, but I can't find the method. Or maybe it's simpl and I'm looking for more than what's necessary....Does anyone have some experience with this?



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  1. when i read the title, i thought, won't that cure the little buggers? and then i thought, why, shrimp are briny already! hmmm, alka is a little confused here! you can marinate, but "brining" is not something i would recommend. even if marinating, don't do it too long or they will be mushy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: alkapal

      It does seem kind of redundant! Usually brining makes things juicier but shrimp don't really need the help, IMHO. However - this link has instructions:

    2. Brining is a fantastic thing to do if you're going to dry cook the shrimp. It's a very commomly used technique for shrimp.

      Brine it just like you'd brine poultry, only do it for much less time.

      1/2 cup kosher salt dissolved in 4 cups of cold water. Maybe add a little sugar to heighten the savory flavor. Soak the shrimp for 20 minutes.

      Rinse if you want to but IMO that's not really necessary.

      6 Replies
      1. re: C. Hamster

        That's the way I do it. Brining gives that "pop in the mouth" feel. Does wonders for farmed shrimp that don't have great texture. 20-30 min max for brining shrimp. Don't over do the salt. I often do half and half salt/sugar and do rinse well before cooking.

        1. re: scubadoo97

          interesting technique. i shall give it a try!
          when i grew up in florida, the shrimp were very fresh gulf shrimp. they didn't need help. those were the days....

          1. re: alkapal

            Gulf shrimp are still around, just not as plentiful in the local supermarkets and twice the price but still worth buying over farm raised.

            1. re: scubadoo97

              thanks scuba, i know you know your stuff!

              1. re: scubadoo97

                I totally agree. Luckily a market near me carries gulf shrimp from the USA at a reasonable price. They taste very different than the asian shrimp. Sweeter and tastier.

          2. re: C. Hamster

            Perfect, Hamster, thanks. I'm usually the first with my finger on the Google button, but I missed it there.

            Thanks again

          3. Actually I do brine shrimp, but only as a remedy when I get a batch that turns out to be mushy (I don't know why, but sometimes it happens).

            To restore the firm texture or at least to help with it, I brine the shrimp for some 15 minutes, in water that is roughly as salty as seawater. Then rinse, marinate/cook as usual, and the "bite" in the flesh magically comes back.

            1. I like Alton Browns method of cooking shrimp for shrimp cocktail, with brined shrimp:


              1. Brine them (briefly) with the shells on and then toss them with melted butter, worchestershire, cayenne, garlic and smoked paprika and roast them hot and fast! Wear an old shirt and sit outside with someone you're very comfortable looking foolish in front of and enjoy!