Best recipes for frozen shrimp
July 27, 2019 2:24 PM   Subscribe

I placed a grocery delivery order that included fresh shrimp. I received a bag of currently-frozen shrimp. I've had so many bad experiences with frozen seafood that I haven't cooked with it in years, but these look like decent quality. What can I make that involves shrimp but is somewhat forgiving of the texture degradation that will happen from using thawed-at-home* shrimp?

*Because I do know that the "fresh" shrimp I wanted were likely previously-frozen, but they got unfrozen by pros in a controlled setting. I got a wonky freezer, a tiny kitchen with a tiny sink, and a track record of impatience.
posted by rhiannonstone to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I bought a frozen bag of shrimp today and it's thawing in the refrigerator. I'm making this recipe tomorrow for dinner. It's very easy and should be quite forgiving. You could add some other vegetable ingredients if you wanted to.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 2:29 PM on July 27, 2019

Response by poster: KleenexHat, while I am cautiously open to the unusual flavor combination of banana and shrimp, I think that's the wrong link. :)
posted by rhiannonstone at 2:30 PM on July 27, 2019 [50 favorites]

Paella? Gumbo?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:45 PM on July 27, 2019

I like using my frozen shrimp for shrimp burrito bowls, similar to this recipe. Add/remove veggies to suit your preferences.

Don't fear the frozen shrimp. That's all I use, and they turn out great. I pull out the quantity of shrimp I'll be using, place them in a large bowl and fill it with water. Thaw them for about 30 minutes in the water (change it once if you want, or don't.) (Not hot water - room temp is fine.) At that point, I remove the tails and devein them if needed. Even if they're still slightly frozen in the center, they'll cook quickly.
posted by hydra77 at 2:48 PM on July 27, 2019

Best answer: Buffalo shrimp. Toss with flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, fry fast and hot until outside is crisp, toss with buffalo sauce (Franks + butter), serve with blue cheese dressing. You don't have to deep fry, you can get away with a half an inch of oil and flip halfway through. You can even reuse it, if you stick to shrimp.

Alternatively, dearly beloved fried shrimp of childhood: most of the above, but with cocktail sauce and lemons.

(Frozen shrimp has always been just fine, in my experience.)
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:06 PM on July 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh, you can thaw it in lukewarm water in a bowl by the way. Takes like twenty minutes.

Before frying, always dry things the best you can to avoid getting hot oil in your eye.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:08 PM on July 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

I can't find an actual recipe link for this, but I make it with frozen shrimp from the not-fancy store and it comes out fine. The proportions below are usually good for two or three dinners for myself. You could probably fine-tune the measurements, but out of laziness I just use up everything.

1 lb shrimp, maybe a little less
1 avocado
1 bunch cilantro
Garlic (I use like 6-8 cloves; live your truth)
Olive oil
Lime juice

Run like the shrimp under the sink till they're less frozen. Get them out of their lil suits and chop them up a bit, or don't. While you're doing that, heat up a pan (low-medium's good) and get some olive oil in there.

Add in the minced garlic. When it's starting to smell good, in goes the shrimp. As that starts pinking up, which will be real quick, cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, dice your avocado and chop up your cilantro.

Theoretically, once the shrimp's done you should take it out and do the rest in the same pan so the shrimp doesn't overcook; I usually am too lazy and just keep dumping stuff in.

In any event, add in the avocado and cilantro and lime juice; I like lime but you don't want this to get too watery. Ideally you've taken out the shrimp so you can turn up the heat and get a nice little bit of char on the avocado, but I basically just give it a minute or two for the flavors to blend.

I usually eat this on its own like a salad, but it's good in tacos and would probably be tasty over rice.
posted by jameaterblues at 3:15 PM on July 27, 2019 [9 favorites]

Oops! I also made banana bread today. :-D Here you go.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 3:25 PM on July 27, 2019 [9 favorites]

I forgot to add that I don't like eating dairy, so I'm substituting coconut milk.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 3:37 PM on July 27, 2019

Shimp Pireus! Here is a recipe. You can use a good jarred tomato sauce if you don't want to make your own. It's also nice to put the feta on top of the sauce and broil it so it gets browned a bit. Serve with pita brushed with garlicky olive oil.
posted by Lycaste at 3:59 PM on July 27, 2019

Best answer: If you have the equipment to do so, shrimp perform particularly well under sous vide conditions.
posted by furnace.heart at 4:17 PM on July 27, 2019

Uncle Pooh's Shrimp & Grits.

Even if you don't make it this time, plan to make it some time. Everyone needs the happiness this dish brings. Dear god. The video at the bottom of that page is food porn.
posted by malthusan at 4:29 PM on July 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Frozen shrimp is way easy! I am generally not good with cooking meats but I can do shrimp, and so can you. The only hard part is planning well enough in advance to thaw them. If you put them in the fridge in the morning, they’ll be thawed by dinnertime. If they’re not completely thawed, you can cheat a little bit at the end by placing them in cool water for a few minutes.

I almost always pan-fry my shrimp; it’s quick and easy and they turn out great. Salt and pepper your thawed shrimp, add a little squeeze of lemon juice if you like. Heat some oil in a pan on medium-high, then add the shrimp and cook two minutes a side, or three minutes on one side and one or two on the other. (I know it’s time to flip them when they’re opaque on the bottom; they also curl up as they cook.) You can throw them in a stir-fry or noodle dish at the very end, or just eat them as is.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:12 PM on July 27, 2019

I use them for curries, and I agree something like a paella would be nice too, something with a hint or more of spice. For the texture, Just take care not to overcook them, they only need a minute or two of heat.
posted by mumimor at 12:14 AM on July 28, 2019

Just as a counterpoint, I prefer buying frozen seafood - that way I know when and how it was thawed. Frozen shrimp go in a pot of cold water for 20 mins on the countertop or an hour+ in the fridge. Sauté with butter and garlic and a splash of white wine.
posted by gnutron at 5:13 AM on July 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Try making home made Chinese dumplings or wonton for soup with them - the fillings are usually chopped and often mixed with meat or vegetables. Same for dim sum, which are rarely made at home but some can be quite simple to put together (shiu mai, spring rolls)
posted by zaelic at 5:59 AM on July 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

Good frozen shrimp are great. I like the ones from the Texas Gulf Coast because they have a good funky seafood flavor, but they're expensive. The more common ones that come from SE Asia are also delicious although some of them have a bit of an aroma of slave labor.

Anyway being frozen really doesn't seem to harm them. The trick is to not overcook them. I usually make them into Thai curries. Thaw and then 2-3 minutes in the boiling liquid and they come out great. If you're feeling exceptionally lazy get yourself a can of Blue Runner gumbo base, heat it to boiling, and again 2-3 minutes of the shrimp in there and it's delicious.
posted by Nelson at 8:19 AM on July 28, 2019

We make a quick brine with kosher salt, some sugar, black peppercorns and some red chili flakes. I just sort of eyeball it, but there are brine ratios on the web. Let sit about 35 minutes. Dry off well. Grill until done. Enjoy. Perfect with steak, a baked potato and a nice green salad.
posted by kathrynm at 12:07 PM on July 28, 2019

Best answer: THIS shrimp scampi by the ever reliable Ina Garten, is by far my favourite shrimp recipe. My husband goes nuts over it... it really is sensational and very easy.

I usually serve it over Angel Hair pasta and it's a hit every time!
posted by JenThePro at 8:27 AM on July 29, 2019

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