Shrimp Seared Differently For Perfect Cooking

If you've cooked seafood on the stovetop, you know that sinking feeling when you flip the spatula & half the protein sticks to the pan. 

Your efforts to achieve the perfect sear & plate presentation are wasted. Then there's the pan-scrubbing. 

Shrimp can be delicate, firm, or rubbery. Little raw grey males can blush quickly. Shrimp are protein-rich but low-fat. 

Fat blocks sticking (via The Washington Post). It smooths the pan & plugs divots. Add butter to thicken the pan. 

Another tip for perfectly cooked shrimp is unexpected. Shrimp should be cooked in a cold pan, like duck fat or bacon. Due to chemical connections, protein-rich foods adhere to metal surfaces.

Proteins immediately bind to metal in hot pans (via the Royal Society of Chemistry). A chilly piece of meat placed to a screaming-hot pan will seize up, like plunging into a frigid pool. 

Shrimp protein is similar. Proteins are less shocked when cold is added to cold & progressively heated. Cook's Illustrated says shrimp are less likely to overcook & become rubbery. 

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