It’s not uncommon for shrimp to be served and enjoyed chilled. That’s because many types of seafood taste so much better when consumed cold or at room temperature. And this may leave you wondering how frozen shrimp is best eaten. Is thawing required? Do you have to cook it beforehand?
Frozen shrimp can be eaten while still frozen or cold. However, it’s important to check the packaging to see whether or not the seafood is pre-cooked. Pre-cooked frozen shrimp is 100% safe to consume, provided that it’s from a reputable vendor. There are many different dipping sauces that can be paired with shrimp.
If there’s a bag of shrimp in the freezer and you are thinking about indulging, read on.
Below, you will come across some of the most frequently asked questions about frozen shrimp. By the time you are through checking out this post, you will have a much better idea of how to use a bag of shrimp in your freezer.
Read Also: Can You Eat Freezer-Burned Shrimp?
Is Frozen Cooked Shrimp Ready to Eat?
Provided that it’s pre-cooked, as stated on the packaging, eating frozen shrimp is perfectly fine. As a matter of fact, one can eat frozen pre-cooked shrimp without thawing beforehand. Thawing is necessary if shrimp needs deveining as it’s virtually impossible to devein frozen shrimp without damaging the seafood.
When shopping for frozen shrimp, you have a couple of options: raw and pre-cooked.
Frozen raw shrimp, as the name implies, requires cooking with or without thawing. If the contents are still veined, allowing shrimp to thaw for a while makes the process of deveining easier.
If you are always in a hurry to have shrimp, it’s a good idea to opt for frozen pre-cooked shrimp.
That’s because you can enjoy it while still completely frozen or not thawed all the way. When shopping for frozen pre-cooked shrimp, look for a product that says “deveined” on the packaging.
Going for it will save you from the need to wait for shrimp to fully thaw, which makes for easy deveining.
Can You Eat Frozen Cooked Shrimp After Thawing?
It’s safe and possible to consume frozen pre-cooked shrimp immediately after thawing. Since the seafood has been cooked by the manufacturer before packing, bacteria in raw shrimp that can cause food poisoning are no longer around. However, it’s important to get frozen pre-cooked shrimp from a reliable source.
Pre-cooked shrimp is safe to eat after thawing. Because the seafood is cooked before it’s packaged, consumers may eat shrimp with peace of mind and utmost delight before or after storing.
Just see to it that the packaging clearly says “pre-cooked” before enjoying thawed frozen shrimp.
Checking whether or not shrimp remains veined or already deveined is important beforehand.
If the veins, which, by the way, are not really veins, are still intact, then it’s a good idea to allow frozen shrimp to thaw completely to make the removal of the veins easier. Otherwise, you will run the risk of damaging shrimp.
Some people no longer wait for shrimp to thoroughly thaw before eating. So, in other words, you can consume frozen pre-cooked shrimp while it’s still cold or even rock hard.
How Do You Thaw Frozen Shrimp Faster?
Thawing frozen shrimp is faster if the packaging is submerged in a bowl filled with cold water, which can be replaced every 10 minutes. Instead of hot water, cold water is used when defrosting shrimp faster to keep the seafood from cooking as it thaws. It usually takes 20 to 30 minutes to thaw frozen shrimp this way.
In most instances, frozen meat products have to be transferred to the refrigerator around 24 hours before cooking them. Letting them thaw in the fridge helps prevent the formation of bacteria.
Because of the size, shrimp takes only around 12 hours to completely thaw using the said method.
Fret not if you are in a hurry to enjoy frozen shrimp. That’s because there’s a quicker way to thaw the frozen seafood: by submerging it in a bowl of cold water.
To speed up the thawing process, replace cold water every 10 minutes. Place something heavy on the packaging, such as a mug or small plate, to keep it submerged.
While it can be tempting to use hot water for even faster thawing, avoid it at all costs — it will cook shrimp in the process, and following a recipe may result in an overcooked seafood dish.
Quickest Way to Cook Frozen Shrimp
Boiling is the quickest way to turn frozen shrimp into delicious cooked shrimp. This is true whether frozen shrimp is raw or pre-cooked. There is also no need to thaw frozen shrimp beforehand — it can be placed into a pot of boiling water for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the size, straight from the freezer.
One of the best things about shrimp is that the seafood cooks very quickly. So, in other words, you or your guests need not wait for a long time before a delectable shrimp dish can be enjoyed.
As a matter of fact, due to its small size, frozen shrimp can be cooked without thawing it first.
However, especially if you want to follow a seafood recipe to a T, it’s a good idea to consider thawing frozen shrimp for a while beforehand until some of the ice melts.
That’s because ice can make whatever saucy dish you are cooking watery, thus keeping you from experiencing it the way the recipe’s author intended.
A quick and easy way to cook frozen shrimp is by boiling it. To boost the flavor profile, you can boil the seafood with your favorite herbs and spices and pair it with your preferred dipping sauce — there are plenty to choose from!
How Do You Properly Store Thawed Shrimp?
Any unused shrimp in the thawed packaging may be stored in the refrigerator to keep it from going bad. Thawed shrimp should be placed in a bowl loosely covered with wax paper. This will allow air to circulate around the seafood. However, it’s important to use shrimp in the refrigerator within 1 to 2 days.
There’s no need to cook or serve an entire packaging of shrimp just because you thawed it.
In case you are unable to use some of the seafood, place the remaining shrimp in the fridge where it will stay in excellent condition for up to a couple of days.
Remember to place shrimp in the coldest part of the refrigerator, which is at the bottom and in the back, to keep it from going bad before you are ready to use it.
But if you are not too certain as to when you will be able to cook it, simply return shrimp to the freezer where it can last for up to a year, although using it within 3 months is recommended.
Just Before You Take Shrimp Out of the Freezer
A bag of frozen shrimp can be eaten completely or partially thawed or even while still totally frozen, if preferred, without cooking the contents beforehand. However, it only applies if the seafood is pre-cooked, which means that the manufacturer has already cooked the product before it’s sent to the grocery store.
Because it’s pre-cooked, it’s unlikely that you will end up with food poisoning — unless the shrimp is already bad.
Is it safe to eat shrimp without deveining first?
The so-called vein of shrimp is not actually a vein. Rather, it’s the digestive tract of the seafood. Failure to remove it before eating shrimp won’t make you sick. However, the presence of the vein can keep shrimp from being picture-perfect. Therefore, deveining shrimp is purely an aesthetic matter.
Can you eat the shells of shrimp?
Because of their hardness, shrimp shells are indigestible. Some people may end up with a stomach ache after eating the shells of shrimp, especially if consumed in excessive amounts. If truth be told, shrimp shells have nutrients in them. Some of them include protein, calcium, phosphorus, sodium and zinc.