How to thaw frozen shrimp fast! Making shrimp for dinner and you realised that you forgot to take the frozen shrimp or prawns out of the freezer? Do not worry, there are a few ways that you can quickly and easily thaw your shrimp so that they are ready to be cooked.
What is the best way to defrost shrimp
Shrimp is one of the most popular seafood items, However, they mostly come frozen depending on where you live. These crustaceans are highly perishable and the best way to keep them fresh and longer is by freezing them immediately after they are caught.
Shrimps or prawns are usually sold whole, deveined, shelled, or as a peeled tail. The method you will learn today works for all types of frozen shrimp or frozen prawns whether it is cooked or not.
There are three methods you can use to thaw your frozen shrimp or prawns; under or with cold water, in the fridge, or using the microwave. All these methods will work, but each has its own pros and cons that you should consider before deciding which one to use.
How to thaw frozen shrimp in the fridge overnight
The best and safest way to defrost shrimp is in the fridge. This method takes the longest time but it will prevent your shrimp from getting overcooked or developing bacteria while it thaws.
To thaw your frozen shrimp or prawns in the fridge, simply place the shrimp in a bowl or plate and place it at the bottom of the refrigerator overnight.
It can take anywhere from 5 hours to 24 hours for the shrimps to thaw completely depending on the size.
Thawing frozen shrimp in cold Water
This method is the second-best way to thaw your frozen shrimp or prawns. It is faster than using the fridge and it also prevents the shrimp from overcooking (Provided you use cold water).
To thaw your shrimps using cold water, simply place them in a sealed plastic bag and submerge them in cold water for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, check the shrimp to see if they are thawed. If they are not, change the water and remove any loose ice from the bag and continue to soak the shrimp in water for another 5-10 minutes. Repeat the process until the shrimps are completely thawed.
Once the shrimp is thawed, cook it immediately or transfer it to the fridge.
Place the frozen shrimp in a colander and rinse it under cold running water until the ice completely melts off. Do not use hot or warm water as it will start to cook the shrimp.
Thawing frozen shrimp using the microwave
This is the fastest way to thaw your frozen shrimp but there is a chance of cooking the shrimp if you are not careful.
To thaw your frozen shrimp in the microwave, start by placing the shrimp in a microwave-safe bowl.
Place the bowl in the microwave and use the defrost function of the microwave and defrost according to the weight of the shrimp. If your microwave does not have a defrost function, you can reduce the power of the microwave to about 20-30% of its full power. This way the microwave defrosts the shrimp and does not cook it.
Open the microwave from time to time say every 2 minutes to check on the shrimp or until it's fully thawed. Remove the thawed shrimp from the microwave and cook it immediately.
PS: make sure to wash your hands with soap immediately after handling the raw shrimp
Can you refreeze shrimp after thawing
Yes, you can refreeze shrimp that has been previously thawed in the fridge within 1-2 days. Although not really recommended as it significantly reduces the quality of the shrimp over time.
Shrimp basically contains a lot of water and when it is frozen, the water expands and breaks the cell walls of the shrimp.
When you thaw and refreeze shrimp multiple times, it causes the protein in the shrimp to break down which then makes it mushy and less flavorful. While it is possible to refreeze thawed shrimp, avoid it if you can.
Only defrost the amount of shrimp you need as you cannot refreeze thawed shrimp.
Avoid cooking shrimps directly from frozen as it may result in overcooked shrimp. Always thaw the shrimp before cooking.
When in doubt, always err on the side of caution. If after thawing the shrimp, you feel it is off or smells off, please discard it.
How To Thaw Frozen Shrimp Fast
- 2 pounds frozen shrimp
- Remove the shrimp from its packaging and transfer it to a colander.
- Rinse it under cold running water until the ice completely melts off. Do not use hot or warm water as it will start to cook the shrimp.
- Place the shrimp in a sealed plastic bag and submerge them in cold water for about 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, check the shrimp to see if they are thawed. If they are not, change the water and remove any loose ice from the bag and continue to soak the shrimp in water for another 5-10 minutes. Repeat the process until the shrimps are completely thawed and the shrimp pliable.
- Once the shrimp is thawed, cook it immediately or transfer it to the fridge.
How long does raw shrimp last in the fridge
Raw shrimp can last in the fridge for one to 2 days provided it is stored in the fridge at the right temperature. If you plan to store the raw shrimp for longer, it is advisable to freeze it. Frozen raw shrimp or prawns can last for up to 12 months in the freezer.
Can I thaw shrimp at room temperature
No, never thaw shrimp at room temperature. Room temperature is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and thrive. Always thaw your shrimp in the fridge, under cold water, or in the microwave.
What does deveined shrimp mean
Deveined shrimp is a term used to describe shrimp that has had the black vein running along its back removed. The black vein is the intestine of the shrimp, while it may not harmful if eaten cooked, it is more aesthetically pleasing to have it removed before consuming it.
What is the difference between shrimp and prawns
The main difference between shrimp and prawns is their size and body shape. Shrimp are typically smaller in size and have a more curved body shape, while prawns are larger with a straighter body shape. Additionally, shrimp have gills on their sides while prawns have them on their backs near their tails. Lastly, shrimp are more common in saltwater while prawns can be found in both salt and freshwater.
How long does it take to thaw shrimp
The amount of time it takes to thaw shrimp depends on the method you are using. The fridge is the slowest method and can take anywhere from 5 hours to 24 hours. Cold water is the second-fastest method and can take 15 minutes to 30 minutes while the microwave is the fastest method and can take as little as 2 minutes. However, there is a chance of cooking the shrimp in the microwave instead of defrosting.
How do you know when shrimp are thawed
You will know the shrimp are thawed when they are no longer frozen solid, not hard to touch, and have a flexible texture.
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