Sometimes you find it more convenient to buy frozen shrimp than fresh. This is fine; frozen shrimp is processed quickly so it retains its texture and flavor. However, not all frozen shrimp are equal. Look closely into the bag.
It should have a window area where you can see the shrimp inside. Are there ice crystals? If so, put the bag down. This is a sure sign that the shrimp has thawed and refrozen. At best, it will not taste fresh. At worst, it can make you sick. It is best to avoid it altogether.
How do You Defrost Frozen Shrimp
The fastest way to thaw your frozen shrimp is to put the bag in some cold water. You may need to weigh it down with something, as most bags tend to float. This should not take too long; an hour at most. You can also let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Do not set it on the counter or put it in warm or hot water to thaw; it will start cooking your shrimp if the water is too hot. Leaving it on the counter makes it vulnerable to bacteria growth.
What is the Best Way to Cook Frozen Shrimp?
Shrimp can be cooked many different ways. No matter which method you choose, it is best to watch them carefully so they end up cooked perfectly. Overcooked shrimp tends to be tough and rubbery, while perfectly cooked shrimp are tender and succulent.
You can thread frozen shrimp onto skewers and grill them. The heat caramelizes the outside of the shrimp, concentrating the flavor. You could also marinate them to add additional flavor. Do not marinate them much longer than half an hour.
If you have acidic ingredients in your marinade like lemon juice, it may start cooking your shrimp in the refrigerator. Raw thawed shrimp takes several minutes to cook. Turn it frequently. It makes a great change of pace from burgers and hot dogs.
A very gentle cooking method is steaming. It keeps all the flavor that may be lost in boiling. Add a little water to a pot and add any seasonings you want. As soon as the water begins to boil, add the shrimp to a steaming rack or on an upside down colander inside the pot.
Cover and let the shrimp steam. When the shrimp is pink or orange, it is done. Remove it immediately from the heat. Serve it hot or let it cool on ice.
Your cooked shrimp can be eaten as an appetizer, as part of a meal, added to salads or soups or made into shrimp cocktail. Of course, if your family really likes shrimp, you may be lucky to get any of them to the table unless you keep them away from the kitchen. Shrimp are one of those delicious foods that everyone wants to keep tasting and cannot stop once they begin.
Using frozen shrimp like this is an excellent way to keep shrimp on hand. You can use it whenever you feel so inclined because it is already there; you do not need to make a special trip to the fish market.
Picture, recipes and/or content upgraded: 01-26-16
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