The Secret to Perfectly Cooked Shrimp (That Went Viral on Instagram)

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The Secret to Perfectly Cooked Shrimp (That Went Viral on Instagram)

I know we usually post recipes on the Station 1923 blog, but with the reaction we got to this tip on Instagram, we had to make sure our Flavor Fam knew all about it.

With over 400K views, 13,000 likes and nearly 200 comments on this post — we learned quickly that shrimp (and cooking them) can be pretty polarizing. Some folks love shrimp, and genuinely appreciated the tip. Others got put up on game by their favorite restaurants. And others still insisted that if "you just cook them right", that the tip was unnecessary.

Station 1923 Shrimp Cooking Hack - Dry Brine

So before we go any further, it's been on our mind to make a few things clear about us as people, what we stand for as a brand at Station 1923, and the type of products and content we create:

1. We're for home cooks of all skill levels. Whether you're a top chef or just figuring out how to make Top Ramen, we're always gonna meet you where you are. Our goal is to make high quality, home cooking uncomplicated — regardless of whether you know the difference between a sear and a sous vide, you're welcome here. 🫶🏾

2. We understand that everyone doesn't have equal access to everything. Whether the limitations are financial, geographic, or because you just weren't exposed, we do our best to acknowledge that everyone's playing a different hand of cards. That's part of the reason why our rubs and seasonings are all-in-one, all-purpose blends, and make everything from seafood to meat substitutes (and veggies!) taste great.

So while you may have access to fresh farm stand produce and seafood that was caught 30 minutes ago (and we love that for you!), others are working with flash-frozen foods — and there's nothing wrong with that. #wedontshameanybodysgame

3. We're learning, just like you. Neither of us are trained chefs. Our culinary backgrounds come from years of standing in the kitchen, asking questions, and sticking our noses in pots while our grandparents, parents, uncles, and aunties cooked. We're not experts, but we are passionate about flavor. Our rubs, seasonings, and recipes are tested in our own home, and on family and friends. So if you ever have any questions or feedback, drop us a line.

Whew! We just had to get that off our chest. Now back to the science lesson.

Use This One Ingredient for Juicy, Snappy Shrimp

(Hit play on this video to listen as you read along, and don't forget to subscribe to Station 1923 on YouTube!)

If your shrimp always come out rubbery, chewy, and dry, this tip will help you get your shrimp RIGHT — every single time.

The one ingredient and step you need to include before cooking your shrimp is: BAKING SODA.

That's right — regular ol' baking soda (that's probably already in your pantry) is excellent insurance against overcooked shrimp, and will give you that juicy, firm, and snappy texture that you typically find in restaurant-quality food (especially Chinese dishes).

Why Baking Soda? 

Baking soda is must for cooking restaurant-quality shrimp at home, and here’s why:

Baking soda raises the pH of the muscle fibers in shrimp, which makes them less likely to contract and squeeze out moisture as they cook. Without contraction, the moisture that would normally be lost as your shrimp cooks remains inside the fibers — keeping them plump, juicy, and snappy. 

How to Use Baking Soda for Juicy, Snappy Shrimp

Incorporating baking soda as a dry brine for cooking your shrimp is easy as 1-2-3:

Step 1

After peeling, de-veining, and rinsing your shrimp in cold water, pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Don't season yet!

Step 2

For every 1 pound of shrimp you have, sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and toss the shrimp to ensure all are equally coated. You may feel a slight grittiness, but that's okay. 

Step 3

Cover your shrimp and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before seasoning and cooking. No, you don't have to rinse the baking soda off. And no, you can't taste it either!

A Word of Caution

If you are on a low/no sodium diet, or must otherwise monitor your sodium intake, please proceed with caution in using this tip, and speak with your doctor if necessary.

Baking soda is high in sodium — each 1/4 teaspoon contains 315mg of sodium. By comparison, Station 1923 rubs and seasonings contain just 10-85mg of sodium per serving.

Be mindful of the sodium content of baking soda, and any additional seasonings you plan to use.

Happy dry brining! 🦐

P.S. We don’t wanna start no mess but uhhh… share this post with someone, with love 😅🫶🏾

And don't forget to try our Seafood Lover's Combo Pack on all that snappy, juicy shrimp you’re gonna be cooking!

Shop Seafood Lover's Now!

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