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I've had a few chef friends tell me that frozen shrimp is generally the "freshest" in the sense that it's frozen right on the boat, whereas other shrimp has to travel... Could one substitute frozen? If so, how would that work?

asked by erinrae over 4 years ago
15 answers 2211 views
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Miranda Rake

Miranda is a contributor at Food52.

added over 4 years ago

First, I second what Lorigoldsby said and second, Yes, you could certainly use frozen shrimp!

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added over 4 years ago

What they said!

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Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

Unless you live right next to a coast and a shrimp boat. Frozen is your best bet.

The stuff you get inland at a supermarket is simply the frozen product that's thawed on ice in the display case. Maybe even for a couple of days.
The bagged frozen shrimp is better---sometimes you can ask the people behind the counter, and if they're good, they'll pull out a bag of most recent shipment (frozen) for you instead of directing you to the freezer section. "Are these previously frozen" "yes" "could you get a bag of the most recent frozen product, Please"

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added over 4 years ago

I can actually buy fresh, never frozen shrimp in DC, which I will buy if I can. Previously frozen is a fine substitute.

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AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

Okay, here's a follow up question: Should thawed frozen shrimp be cooked -- or prepped for cooking -- differently? I used some in Amanda's "Shrimp a la Bittman," and they seemed a bit soggy when cooked. What do you think went wrong? ;o)

32fb3935 151a 4db2 ac26 980d4c0d5cea  lorigoldsby
added over 4 years ago

AJ--the same advice Julia Child gave about Beouf Bourgionne...applies to shrimp. Pat it completely dry before cooking.

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 4 years ago

Fortunately I can often buy my shrimp (prawns) while they are still alive. But for frozen, defrosted shrimp, the larger the better. You have to follow the "U Boat" rule which refers to size as in U10 is a bigger shrimp than a U21. Scallops present an even bigger problem.

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added over 4 years ago

I have never had to cook or prep frozen shrimp differently. You may have just not drained it enough, as said. Or it might have been treated, as with scallops? Chalk it up to a bad batch and try again. Frozen shrimp is a great product imo.

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added over 4 years ago

buy shrimp directly from fishing harbor

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

Pauljoseph is spot on. Even IQF (individually quick frozen)shrimp will lack flavor if "farmed". Farmed shrimp tends to have no flavor whatsoever. Look over packaging for country of origin. Pay up for a better product.

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 4 years ago

Yes. Most of the shrimp sold in the US is being imported from Asia. One of biggest shrimp fisheries in the US was seriously harmed by the BP oil blow out in the Gulf of Mexico.

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added over 4 years ago

Loligoldsby and your chef friend said it. 95% of shrimp is frozen out on the boat at harvest. Most of the time you are just buying defrosted previously frozen shrimp. It is better to get it frozen because you don't know how long it has been sitting defrosted at the supermarket. Defrosting it yourself overnight in the refigerator is gentler and you know how 'old' it is.

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added over 4 years ago

Loligoldsby, is absolutely correct with both of the comments. You should also check the Cook's Illustrated website. They did a very exstensive analysis of shrimp, fresh versus frozen, a year or two ago.

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added over 4 years ago

Thanks everyone! This is really helpful.