What is the very best way to defrost frozen shrimp?

Lynne Rothenberg


Michelle August 30, 2015
I like to defrost any shellfish in a saltwater and sugar brine. I use cold tap water and a 1/4 cup of each Kosher salt and light brown sugar for a quart of water. Just sit it on the counter and it only takes a few minutes to thaw.

I don't think this would work with cooked frozen shrimp though.
Thomas April 19, 2018
What frozen shellfish are you using this method for?
boulangere August 29, 2015
If you thaw them directly in cold water, you'll rinse much of their flavor away, so seal them in a plastic bag, and set that in the cold water. It may take a bit longer, but you'll be much happier with the result.
Smaug August 30, 2015
I got $5 for anyone who proves they can tell the difference in a finished dish.
Susan W. August 30, 2015
I agree with oldunc. I actually did a side by side when debating this with a friend. We used IQF White shrimp from Trader Joe's. We could not tell the difference. Save a bag.
boulangere August 30, 2015
I beg to politely disagree. If being served steamed and chilled on an hors d'oeuvre station, the difference is glaring. Especially if they are farmed shrimp, which I've always found to be flavor-deficient from the start.
Smaug August 31, 2015
Doesn't the plastic flavor they pick up from the bag bother you?
inpatskitchen August 28, 2015
I have used both the refrigerator method and the cool water method often with raw shrimp, but if your frozen shrimp is cooked, thaw in the fridge overnight.
Smaug August 28, 2015
They'll defrost in a few minutes in a large bowl of water- you may have to strain and change the water once or twice, depending on the ratio of shrimp to water, but it can be saved for plants. If you aren't in a hurry, in the refrigerator overnight works well and is safe.
Susan W. August 28, 2015
If I have the time, I put it in a strainer over a bowl in the fridge. If I don't have time, I put the strainer and bowl under running water in the sink. It takes 8-10 minutes at the most if they're individually frozen with the running water method.
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