Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Defrosting Shrimp

I just made a wonderful Surf 'n Turf dish that used huge shrimps. I always keep some in the freezer, because they are so versatile and easy to use. Great for when unexpected guests show up around dinner time.

To defrost shrimp, you could just leave it out on the counter and check periodically to see if they are ready, but they will lose some of that wonderful chewy texture that defines them. A fishmonger shared this secret with me ages ago and so I pass it along to you....the recipe to quickly defrost shrimp.

Place a large bowl (think your largest mixing bowl) in the sink under cold running water. You should only fill the bowl 1/3 of the way up with shrimp ratio otherwise the shrimp will stay frozen in an even bigger block of ice! I know because I once tried to defrost a huge amount of shrimp in one batch. You need to do this in the sink, because the secret is the constant flow of water into the bowl, leading naturally to overflow.

Depending on the size of the shrimp - the larger they are, the longer it takes - you can start to peel them under the running water after about 5 minutes (really large ones might take 15).

This method really does keep the texture just like fresh from the sea shrimps.

Please email me any of your questions, and if I don't have the answer, I'll certainly try find it for you.

Related links:

3 comments:

ejm said...

I'm not sure that it's ever a good plan to leave frozen shrimp out on the counter to defrost. What we usually do is put them into the refrigerator to defrost. That way the defrosted portions stay refrigerated and are less likely to spoil. This, of course, takes some advance planning. It takes at least 12 hours for them to defrost in the fridge.

In a pinch, the cold water bath is the way to go (although some would say that it is a tremendous waste of water!)

-Elizabeth

joyce candido said...

I HAVE 5LBS OF JUMBO FROZEN SHRIMP ALL IN ONE PACKAGE. HOW DO I THWA THEM WITHOUT THAWINF THE WHOLE 5;BS. SO THAT I CAN PUT THEM IN SMALLER SERVINGS ?
THANKS A LOT

Ruth Daniels said...

ejm - it may be a waste of water, but it's the quickest, most efficient way I know. The shrimp come out so much firmer than slow defrosting.

Joyce - great question. I usually just break of the shrimps closest to the bag's surface and if that doesn't work...quickly run the entire bag under warm water just long enough to loosen the outer shrimp. It only takes a minute or so. and the inner shrimp stay frozen for another time.