Should I eat it and if so, how?
January 26, 2009 6:25 PM   Subscribe

Should I eat it and how, the cooked shrimp edition.

Bought a bag of frozen shrimp (cooked, tails on) on Saturday night. Husband defrosted about half of it by running it under water, then changed his mind and cooked something else for dinner. Shrimp has been in the refrigerator since (in sealed tupperware). Is it still OK to eat? Will it be OK tomorrow (i.e. 3 days since defrosting)? How about Wednesday?

If the answer's yes, what creative things can we do with it? We usually have it scampi or alfredo style, and I'm bored with both. I don't want anything spicy. We have normal kitchen implements, including a wok.
posted by desjardins to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's fine. Cooked tail on shrimp are usually processed in brine or even sodium tripolyphosphate which gives them a little more shelf life. When they turn bad, you will know it by the reaaly bad smell.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:38 PM on January 26, 2009

It's probably safe but as for taste, I've heard never to take shrimp off ice. Not frozen, but always really, really cold.
posted by ezekieldas at 6:38 PM on January 26, 2009

and slime.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:39 PM on January 26, 2009

I personally would eat it, if it didn't smell funky. If it does, throw it out. Since you have a wok, why not make a stir-fry? You could make a sauce with curry paste, peanut butter, and cream and toss the stir-fry in it. Since you don't want spicy food, you could go heavier on the peanut butter, or skip the curry paste altogether.

Do you have a stovetop grill or griddle? You should make kebabs or simply grill the shrimp and serve them either plain, with butter and lemon, or with some sort of glaze.

You could also make coconut shrimp, or shrimp and grits. Maybe it'd be good on pizza?
posted by runningwithscissors at 6:39 PM on January 26, 2009

Smell it. If it's too fishy (shrimpy), toss it. The less odor shrimp has (and most fish), the better, at least that's my personal rule of thumb. I've noticed that shrimp gets pretty darn shrimpy-smelling after about a day defrosted.
posted by rhizome at 6:40 PM on January 26, 2009

Smell it, eat it.

Don't cook it again. Instead combine horseradish and ketchup or wasabi and mayo into a dipping sauce that you can stand the heat of. Dip cold shrimp in sauce and consume. Then eat a salad or something if you're still hungry.
posted by Science! at 6:43 PM on January 26, 2009

It's fine to eat. It's already cooked, plus it's been refrigerated this whole time (if it hadn't, it'd be a very different issue). Echoing previous sentiment, you can be pretty sure when it comes to shellfish whether or not to eat it based on smell. It's that obvious when you come across bad shrimp.
posted by puritycontrol at 6:47 PM on January 26, 2009

Unless you live in Gulfport, Mississippi, chances are you're mostly getting thawed shrip anyway. You might think about cooking it tomorrow night and saving it for Wednesday dinner cooked if you don't want to eat it by tommorrow night. It will be fine anyway, it's more the taste than the disease that's slipping away this early in the game.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:57 PM on January 26, 2009

I'd smell it very carefully before eating. Hell, I probably wouldn't eat it, but then I'm a food safety wuss.
posted by robinpME at 7:29 PM on January 26, 2009

If there's no slime on them and no smell (besides shrimp) you're good to go. If they were uncooked you'd be in trouble by now. Next time buy raw, deveined frozen shrimp and thaw them the same way you would cooked shrimp... they take the same amount of time to warm up and taste ten times better.
posted by furtive at 8:27 PM on January 26, 2009

Best answer: Without knowing for reals if these shrimp are edible or not (I would eat them if they don't smell funny), I would like to endorse our family's Shrimp Qusadilla recipe. Make them and laugh all the way to the hospital it's...

Killer Shrimp Quesadillas

(FYI: When I say NITS I mean "not in the States" - a rough ingredient equivalent)


Juice of an orange
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Your shrimp (NITS- half a kilo, give or take)

stack flour tortillas - a dozen
a couple of cups of grated jack cheese (NITS - colby cheese)
about 4 thinly sliced green onions
2 red peppers (NITS- capsicums) - charred in a gas element or on a BBQ, wrapped in a bag to sweat, peeled and sliced.
2 thinly sliced japalnos (NITS- green chilis)
1 bunch cilantro (NITS- corriander), washed, the leaves picked of and roughly torn


Whisk the first five ingredients together to make a marinade. Adjust the proprtions to your taste. Halve the cooked shrimp longwise, so that you have two shrimp looking parts, but thinnner, and throw them all in the marinade. I do this because the quesadilla cooks flatter and is more visually appealing, plus the marinade has more penetration power.

Have all your other ingredients prepped, and at hand in bowls. Set up a chopping board and knife ready to cut the completed quesadillas into triangular wedges, and a flat spaula ready for flipping. Take two large frypans, and put them on the stove, turn the heat on to medium low - you want to cook these kind of slowly. Drain your shrimp. Rest a tortilla in the dry pan - no need for oil, and keeping everything to one half of the tortilla artfully arrange a few shrimp, some green onion slices, some chilli slices, some pepper slices, some cilantro leaves and a layer of cheese. Fold the other half over to make a half circle and get another one going on the other side of the pan, and after that, another two in the other pan. Press them down with the spatula, and cook until toasty on one side then flip. When the filling is pleasingly molten and hot, remove from the pan, slice and eat. We make and eat these standing up in the kitchen like wolves, cutting and devouring as they come out of the pan.
posted by lottie at 9:35 PM on January 26, 2009 [3 favorites]

They're fine. 3 days is ok.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:39 PM on January 26, 2009

Best answer: In an effort to provide actual expert opinion rather than "what would random MeFites do", I offer this: "Cooked shrimp can be stored in a sealed bag no more than 3 days in the coldest part of your refrigerator."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:47 AM on January 27, 2009

My aunt made this jambalaya recipe from Food Network and it is really really really good.

Paula Dean's Jambalaya

Since the shrimp are precooked you might want to heat them up separately and throughly to make sure they are safe and then throw them in at the last minute.
posted by silkygreenbelly at 3:49 PM on January 27, 2009

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