A question about a recipe: Brown Rice Jambalaya-ish

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?

  • Posted by: erinrae
  • January 18, 2012
Brown Rice Jambalaya-ish
Recipe question for: Brown Rice Jambalaya-ish


erinrae January 19, 2012
Thanks everyone! This is really helpful.
violist January 19, 2012
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.
nutcakes January 19, 2012
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.
pauljoseph January 18, 2012
buy shrimp directly from fishing harbor
boulangere January 18, 2012
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.
pierino January 19, 2012
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.
AntoniaJames January 18, 2012
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)
lorigoldsby January 18, 2012
AJ--the same advice Julia Child gave about Beouf Bourgionne...applies to shrimp. Pat it completely dry before cooking.
pierino January 18, 2012
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.
nutcakes January 19, 2012
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.
Sam1148 January 18, 2012
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"
healthierkitchen January 18, 2012
I can actually buy fresh, never frozen shrimp in DC, which I will buy if I can. Previously frozen is a fine substitute.
healthierkitchen January 18, 2012
What they said!
Miranda R. January 18, 2012
First, I second what Lorigoldsby said and second, Yes, you could certainly use frozen shrimp!

Voted the Best Reply!

lorigoldsby January 18, 2012
Unless it says, "Never Frozen", you are buying frozen fish that your fishmonger has defrosted for you.

Frozen shrimp thaws rather quickly. enjoy!
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