Does pre-peeled shrimp always have weird texture?
February 4, 2019 3:27 PM   Subscribe

I got a pound of pre-peeled shrimp yesterday and the texture is really weird.

I never get pre-peeled shrimp, but I was in a hurry to make a lot of food and thought it could save me some time. I just pan fried them in oil, and immediately noticed that it didn't turn pink like shrimps normally do. After some minutes, they turned slightly pink, but had a translucent undertone. I took a bite, and it was really "jiggly" in texture. The whole thing weirded me out so much that I just put it all aside and used my other shell on shrimps.

Is this normal for pre-peeled shrimp? Is it a sign of quality or what? Should I just toss it or do something else with them?
posted by monologish to Food & Drink (11 answers total)
They don't always have a weird texture. I'd guess some sort of thawing and refreezing situation -- that'll do a number on the texture for sure.
posted by BlahLaLa at 3:38 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]

Huh, I don't usually buy them since I don't prefer them, but I've dealt with a lot of frozen peeled shrimp and if anything's off it's usually the texture.

What you describe sounds more like undercooked shrimp. Were they frozen, and if so did you fully thaw them? I suppose it could be a different species than you're used to - gulf of Mexico shrimp are definitely different from what you get from Thailand, for instance. So if you're in Austin and used to getting fresh(ish) gulf shrimp and instead ended up with some poorly processed freezerburned South China Sea bugs, they could have a radically different texture (they're also most likely coming from a really exploitative industry if so).

I mean I'd probably toss them anyway, but I'm curious.
posted by aspersioncast at 3:42 PM on February 4

I'm going to vote different type of shrimp than you are used to. Wild caught shrimp near me (east coast) has a much meatier texture than the cheaper imported shrimp. I find the imported (and I assume farm raised) shrimp to be more jello-y.
posted by token-ring at 4:01 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]

Is it possible the oil was cooler than you usually use?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:38 PM on February 4

If they weren’t solid pink/white and still kind of gelatinous, you didn’t cook them long enough.
posted by Autumnheart at 5:57 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]

That just sounds like undercooked shrimp, if you ask me.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:59 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]

My guess is phosphates. If they came in a bag and the ingredient list contains anything other than shrimp or salt, that’s almost certainly it.
posted by STFUDonnie at 5:19 AM on February 5

Definitely cooked them for very long and it didn’t change much, which is what weirded me out. I also cooked another batch of different shrimp right after to confirm the difference. I’m thinking the culprit is location/quality/whatever happens with farmed shrimp overseas since these are from an asian market and I usually get my seafood from HEB.
posted by monologish at 6:50 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]

Another vote for undercooked.

My guess is that they appear to be thawed but are still frozen on the inside. You *think* you are overcooking them, but you're really not. Maybe try thawing them in the refrigerator longer before you cook them?
posted by jraz at 10:12 AM on February 5

Imported shrimp is full of all kinds of bad stuff. I only eat it "off the boat". But i'm lucky, I live in FLA.
posted by patnok at 12:52 PM on February 5

I promise you it was not undercooked. I cook shrimp almost every weekly and these were not even frozen when purchased. I will stick w shell on gulf shrimps in the future.
posted by monologish at 2:34 PM on February 5

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