Our Guide to Frozen Seafood: How to Cook Frozen Shrimp
Shrimp is one of the most popular seafood products in the United States with numerous varieties sold everywhere. This protein has become popular not only in America, where hungry customers like to grill, scampi, and fry their frozen shrimp but also throughout the rest of the world. We can look at robust shrimp-producing nations like Ecuador, Vietnam, Mexico, and Thailand as reasons for the rise in popularity and affordability of this seafood delicacy.
There is a unique fascination around the country with shrimp as a food source. Whether we are in Louisiana snacking on Cajun food or we are settling into our favorite coastal shrimp dish in Florida, there are plenty of delicious meals to choose from! Unfortunately, we can’t always enjoy a freshly prepared dish by our favorite culinary mastermind. Sometimes, we have to do the legwork for ourselves by cooking up some frozen shrimp!
In today’s conversation, we are going to highlight the benefits that eating shrimp can provide while also giving you the tools that you need to cook a perfect dish of frozen shrimp at home.
A Beginner’s Guide to Seafood Delicacy – Shrimp Education 101
Shopping, preparing, and cooking with shellfish can be a daunting task in the best of situations. After all, we’ve all heard horror stories about seafood cooking mishaps. Fortunately, frozen shrimp is fairly healthy and relatively easy to work with. We’ve all seen frozen bags of shrimp stuffed into supermarket freezers, so how hard could it be?
To cook the best batch of frozen shrimp possible, let’s start at the very beginning. Let’s first discuss how you should go about selecting your frozen shrimp from the store.
- Wild Shrimp vs. Farm-Raised – As you shop around for frozen shrimp, you will have to quickly come to a decision. Do you want to purchase shrimp captured in the wild or would you rather purchase farm-raised shrimp? Farmed shrimp are typically derived from countries such as Thailand or Ecuador while wild-caught shrimp can be found closer to home, such as the Wild Baja Shrimp by Northern Chef in Baja California Sur, Mexico.
- Cost – Wild shrimp will typically cost more than farmed shrimp.
- Safety – Wild shrimp is considered to be a cleaner and safer source of shrimp than farmed alternatives. Although there are many farms around the globe that do it the right way.
- Taste – Finally, frozen wild shrimp will often taste better than farmed alternatives. Wild shrimp will often have more ocean flavor from their wild diet and habitat.
- Buy Frozen Shrimp – There are few occasions where purchasing fresh shrimp will make sense. Shrimp is very perishable, which is why most shrimp are frozen before the sale. Northern Chef Wild Baja Shrimp is caught at sea and frozen immediately after harvesting. This means that the shrimp you buy from the fishmonger at the docks will be the same level of ‘fresh’ as the frozen bag you grab from Northern Chef.
- Gauging Environmental Impact – Savvy shoppers who want to protect the environment will likely opt for frozen shrimp caught in the wild. Companies like Northern Chef prepare their wild shrimp with eco-friendly maneuvers in mind, avoiding chemicals and additions to their products every step of the way.
Now that we have a more complete understanding of shrimp as a source of nutrition, we can focus our attention on better preparing our frozen shrimp dishes.
How To Cook Frozen Shrimp: Simple Steps For Cooking at Home
According to a report compiled by Research and Market, the shrimp industry is slated to grow by north of $4.89 billion from 2020 to 2024. As the vast majority of shrimp in the world is frozen before it is sold, we find it most sensible to learn how to cook frozen shrimp.
Shrimp can be eaten cooked and warm or cooked and chilled. No matter what your dish calls for, this is how you should approach dealing with your frozen shrimp preparation. The muscle structure of shrimp (and lobster) is closer to that of mammals than fish making shrimp meat, like beef, not flake when cooked.
- Remove Frozen Shrimp – If you purchased Wild Baja Shrimp by Northern Chef, you must first remove the individually frozen shrimp for your dish from the package. Seal the rest of the bag and place it in your freezer.
- Defrost Your Shrimp – Now, we need to defrost your shrimp by placing them in a colander or fine-mesh sieve. Next, place this container in a larger bowl and let it defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Alternatively, for a quick thaw, you may place the colander in a large bowl of cold water for ten minutes. Replace the bowl with fresh water and let sit for an additional ten minutes.
- Pat Shrimp Dry – With your shrimp fully thawed yet still cold, you should pat down each piece with a paper towel until they are dry. Once your shrimp is relatively dry and thawed out, you can move forward with your recipe.
- Peel or No Peel – At this point, you would either choose to peel or leave your shrimp as is. Northern Chef offers their Wild Baja Shrimp both: shell-on shrimp and peeled and deveined for convenience.
- Cook Carefully – Now that you are ready to cook, take some time to look over your favorite recipes. A simple shrimp skillet needs little more than a pan, some lemon, and heat. The shrimp color changes from gray-black to pink when cooking. We recommend cooking shrimp to 140 degrees. Of course, there are a variety of shrimp recipes for the curious culinary fanatic, including some of the following options:
- Shrimp Fried Rice
- Shrimp Salad
- Shrimp Scampi Pasta
- Shrimp Tacos
Shrimp is an incredibly diverse and flexible source of protein. Also rich in iodine, calcium, and cholesterol, you can enjoy delicate and nutritious dishes from the comfort of your home. Start shopping at Northern Chef for delicious and sustainable frozen shrimp today!
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