An easy recipe for tender, juicy sautéed shrimp encrusted with flavorful spices, and a tangy lime remoulade sauce for dipping or drizzling.
I make these shrimp every year for our New Year's Eve Party and our guests happily devour them. I am thrilled that a dish that takes only 20 minutes to prepare brings such joy.
With their crispy, colorful coating of spices, these shrimp hold up beautifully on the buffet table, and they're delicious warm or at room temperature - perfect party food.
The remoulade sauce is made with half mayo, half yogurt, lime juice, lime zest and capers. It's light and creamy, bright, tangy and briny, and absolutely divine with this sautéed shrimp.
Here's what you'll need to make the sautéed shrimp and sauce.
For the shrimp
- Large or jumbo shrimp - peeled and deveined with the tails left on
- Cooking oil
- Sweet paprika - not hot or smoked
- Ground cumin
- Ground coriander
- Garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the remoulade sauce
- Lime zest and juice
(See recipe card for quantities)
How to make the remoulade sauce
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. The remoulade can be made up to 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
How to make the shrimp
Toss the shrimp with the spices in a big bowl.
Heat oil in a skillet until it's hot enough to sizzle when you add a shrimp. Sauté the shrimp in batches for a minute or two per side, until they develop a golden brown crust and are just cooked through.
This cooking method gets the shrimp encrusted with toasted spices on the outside while keeping them tender and juicy inside.
Tips for making the best sautéed shrimp
Sautéing shrimp is not hard to do, but if you get it wrong, you can end up with dry, rubbery or burned shrimp - which is just sad. Here are some important tips to ensure you get the best, juiciest sautéed shrimp every time.
- Pat the shrimp dry before sautéing - any moisture on the shrimp will cause steam to form in the pan and prevent the shrimp from browning.
- Use a high smoke point oil - Certain oils are ideal for sautéing because they can withstand high heat without smoking or releasing unsafe chemicals and unpleasant flavors (more details below).
- Choose large or jumbo shrimp - larger shrimp are best for sautéing; you can't leave small shrimp in the pan long enough to brown them without overcooking them.
- Don't crowd the pan - sauté the shrimp in small batches. Too many shrimp in the pan at once will lower the temperature of the oil and prevent the shrimp from browning.
- Preheat the skillet and the oil - you want the shrimp to sizzle when you add them to the pan. The key to perfectly sautéed, golden brown, juicy shrimp is to cook them hot and fast. l like to use my 12-inch cast iron skillet to make this dish. Cast iron skillets are excellent for sautéing because they can be safely heated to a high temperature and they maintain heat well.
- Don't overcook the shrimp - Shrimp cook quickly. Keep a close eye on them while they cook and as soon as they become opaque in the center of their outer curve, remove them from the pan immediately.
How to shop for shrimp
Buying shrimp can be perplexing because the sizing terms "small" "large" "jumbo" are not regulated, so one store's "jumbo shrimp" may be larger than another store's "colossal shrimp."
The best way to shop for the size of shrimp you need is by paying attention to the number of shrimp per pound. For example, when you see a "U/15" on a bag of frozen shrimp, it means that there are “under” 15 shrimp per pound. Numbers with a slash in between, like this 21/25, denote a range per pound, so you will get between 21 and 25 shrimp per pound. This article does a great job explaining everything you'd ever want to know about shrimp sizes.
What type of oil is best for sautéing the shrimp?
To make the best sautéed shrimp and get that beautiful golden brown sear on the outside, the pan has to be set over medium-high heat which is about 400º-450ºF. High-heat cooking degrades certain oils, causing them to release harmful free radicals that you don't want in your food. So it's important to use oils that have a high smoke point, meaning that they remain stable at high heat.
Here are a few high smoke point oils that will work well for sautéing shrimp: light or refined olive oil, refined avocado oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, clarified butter, and soybean oil. All of these oils remain stable at 450ºF.
Can I sauté shrimp ahead of time?
Yes! This spice-crusted sautéed shrimp dish is delicious at room temperature.
When I cook this dish for dinner, I like to serve it warm, fresh from the pan. If I'm making this dish for a party, I generally sauté shrimp up to an hour ahead and serve it at room temperature.
You can find more of my favorite easy recipes for entertaining in this Best Easy Party Food Recipes post.
If you make this Sautéed Shrimp with Remoulade Sauce, I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print