Do you crave for seafood? What particular seafood do you usually crave for? Shrimp is one of my favorites which is also the common seafood craved by many. Shrimp is not as expensive as other seafood, and it is easy to prepare even at home.
You can simply sauté shrimp and it will taste better, or you can cook shrimp into different recipes. Shrimp comes in different sizes, but they all taste best in various dishes.
Fresh or cooked, shrimps can be stored, refrigerated or frozen at home. To save you from frequenting the market, you can freeze shrimp at home and thaw it when you need to cook them.
Sometimes you get excited and prepared much more than you needed so you end up having to store leftovers or cooked food. It is not bad for as long as you know how to store them properly to avoid food wastage. At times, you simply just cook extra so you can have something ready to eat when you are in a hurry.
You probably wonder, can I freeze cooked shrimp? Yes, you can. But you should know the proper technique in packaging it and freezing it.
We prepared this guide to freezing cooked shrimp and added more information that we think will be helpful.
The Ultimate Guide to Freezing Cooked Shrimp
If you leave near the coast, it is very easy to find fresh raw shrimp but if you are from the mainland and far from coast, you can buy from the grocers or wet market. You might be lucky to find fresh shrimps or get the frozen one.
When buying shrimps, you can choose from different options like buying fresh, frozen, or even cooked shrimps and you might be surprised there are still other options.
These are different options when buying shrimp:
- De-veined and shelled shrimp
- Unshelled shrimp
- Small shrimp
- Medium shrimp
- Large shrimp
- Extra Large shrimp
- Shrimp with uncut tail
- Shrimp with cut tail
You need not worry if you purchased frozen shrimp, fresh or frozen they both are as tasty and flexible to be cooked into different recipes.
Cooking with Shrimp
Some people mistaken prawns to shrimp because they look similar. Not only that they look very similar, they also have the same texture and taste. If you want to distinguish a prawn from a shrimp, you must look closely on their legs, gills, and pincers but we do not normally do that.
The shrimp species has more than 300 types and no one can probably single it out by their naked eyes. So, when you go out there to buy shrimp just remember to choose the fresh ones and do not worry if you call it shrimp or prawn.
Shrimp is a menu itself. You can simply steam or sauté it on garlic, then you are on your way a sumptuous meal. It can be the main ingredient in your recipe or use it as one of the ingredients in other recipes.
Here is a list of recipes with shrimp:
- Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Roasted Shrimp
- Corn and Shrimp Chowder
- Shrimp Taco
- Shrimp Fried Rice
- Thai Shrimp Soup
- Parmesan Pasta with Shrimp
- Shrimp Dumplings
- Coconut Shrimp
- Shrimp Cobb Salad
- Shrimp Dips
Cooked shrimp as an ingredient in a dish and cooked plain shrimp can be both frozen but they have different shelf life and may froze differently.
For example, shrimp pasta will have a different texture than plain sautéed shrimps.
We will share helpful tips on handling frozen cooked shrimps but when we say cooked shrimp, it means purely shrimp and not any kind of shrimp dishes.
Proper Shrimp Handling
The way we package our food and store them affects the freshness of our food and its shelf life.
Shrimp should not be left sitting at room temperature because unwanted microorganisms can grow on it, and this is recommended whether it is cooked or fresh.
Though in some cultures eating fresh shrimps is accepted as part of their dish, others do not find it safe. If you like eating them raw or fresh just be sure that you understand the health risk associated to it. Remember that raw or fresh shrimp even when stored properly could be concealing bacteria and other parasites which can be poisonous or can make you sick.
Cooking shrimp is always the best and safest option for you if you want to satisfy your craving, and you have to make sure that it is well-cooked. Shrimp turned to an opaque color when cooked and is typically cooked at high heat temperature between 15 to 20 minutes.
Freezing Cooked Shrimp
You do not have to worry about storing your cooked shrimp in the freezer because it is not difficult to do.
Cooked shrimp can be packaged properly and refrigerated for less than 5 days, however if you want to keep it for a longer time, freezing it is your best option. Frozen cooked shrimp can last for almost 7 months inside the freezer.
It is important to keep in mind that you should not leave cooked shrimp sitting at room temperature for more than 2 hours because at this rate it will be a good breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms that can spoil the food or makes us sick when ingested.
When you want to let it cool down before putting it in the fridge, you should place it in a food container with lid and let it sit at room temperature for not more than 15 minutes.
Refrigerating Cooked Shrimp
After letting the cooked shrimp cool down, be sure to package it well before storing it in your fridge. Here is a quick guide for you.
- Let hot cooked shrimp cool down for a few minutes but never let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours or more.
- Put shrimp in tightly sealed food container or re-sealable freezer bags to prevent air from sipping in.
- Store shrimp in your vegetable crisper and it will still be best for consumption before 5 days.
Freezing Cooked Shrimp
If you want to store cooked shrimp for more than 5 days. It is best to freeze it. Here is a quick guide for you.
- Package shrimp in an airtight food container or re-sealable freezer bags but ensure that is has already cooled down before packing it. Always keep in mind if it stays at room temperature for 2 hours or more, it is at risk of harboring bacteria.
- You can opt to pack the shrimp in portions so you will only need to thaw the portion you need to cook after freezing it.
- Be sure to label each shrimp packaged with dates so you will be reminded when it is still best for consumption.
- Store it in your freezer for not more than 7 months.
If you chose to freeze shrimp in portions, it will be easier for you to thaw it and reheat it. You can also directly reheat it without thawing it if you like.
We want this article to be informative as well as helpful so here are some takeaways for you to read.
What Do You Do if You Bought Cooked Shrimp?
Cooked shrimp purchased at the market can be stored and frozen if you need to stock them. Just remember to check on the label for you to know when it is still best for storage or for consumption. If it is vacuum sealed from the store, its packaging is good enough to be stored in your fridge but if not, you need to re-package it properly for storage.
Just keep in mind that fresh shrimp will always taste better on your newly cooked dish, than cooked ones.
How Can You Tell if Shrimp is Bad?
To know if your shrimp is already spoiled or not anymore good for consumption, look at its color, and check its texture and odor.
Spoiled shrimp will feel slimy, may have some grayish or greenish spots on them and has a very strong fishy smell. If you observed this, it is good to just discard it.
Is shrimp bad for health?
Shrimp has low fat and has low-calorie content. It is also a source of protein. However, even if it has low fat content, its fat content comes from saturated fat so if you consume too much shrimp it can also increase the bad cholesterol in your blood. Therefore, they say that shrimp in not truly a healthy food and is not recommended for people with high blood pressure and those with heart disease. Remember to eat shrimp moderately.
How is shrimp usually stored after harvesting?
After catching or harvesting shrimp from the water, it is immediately drained to be stored in containers and frozen for storage until it is shipped to the market. However, if it is directly sold on the wet market near the coast you can buy it “fresh from the boat”.