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Apr 13, 2005 10:49 AM

Shrimp; are they really all frozen?

  • g

I always thought all shrimp in the US, except maybe a regional specialty, like the tiny Maine sweet shrimp, and some you get fresh on the southern coast, or gulf, were all frozen...It was just a matter of whether you bought them still frozen, or already defrosted.

I usually use frozen, for that reason, cuz they're convenient to have around. I'm not a big shrimp fan. For me, they, along with fillet of sole, are fish for people who don't like fish, but a good lingua franca for me and my non-pescatarian guests. Well, I bought some, defrosted, I thought, at a Chinese market last nite, and when I sauteed them before adding to my dish, they were GREAT! They were flavorfull, and juicy...It kind of changed my mind about things.

Have I been wrong? Are some shrimp fresh? If not, why did these taste so good?

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  1. I get my shrimp from Fabian Seafood. It is not nor has it been frozen. The company is out of Galveston and he flies the shrimp, oysters, crabmeat, crawfish, occasional snapper and flounder up from the gulf and sells it around the mid-west spring-fall. It is all packed on ice as it should be and is very very fresh. It is not cheap but it is worth every penny.

    1. All of the shrimp at my local market are frozen, then defrosted.

      I think wild shrimp are more tasty than farm raised. Perhaps the shrimp you recently purchased were wild.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Alan408

        I gottah tell ya, for the price I paid, I wouldn't think so. ;)
        OTOH, they were in the shell, and not "slit and cleaned" for "easy-peel"up the back, or crystal-veined. The old kind, that ya hafta shell and remove the big black vein...maybe that's why?

        1. re: galleygirl

          I think all the shrimp at the Chinese supermarts in the Boston area are frozen at some point, then defrosted. Nevertheless, it's preferable to buy them with shells on; I find that they taste better than the de-veined variety, and for sure, the pre-cooked ones you get at the regular supermarkets.
          I hope you'll give shrimp another chance; they can be supremely delicious, for example, stir-fried with scallions, ginger and oyster sauce, or simply steamed with egg white and ginger, then dipped into dark soy sauce laced with fresh red chilli slices and lime juice.

          1. re: ju

            The steamed shrimp sound wonderful. Am I correct in assuming you coat them with the egg white and then steam with ginger? If not, then how do you use the egg white?

              1. re: ju

                Thanks - going to try them next time I'm in the mood to cook shrimp.

          2. re: galleygirl

            I buy a lot of shrimp, and I have never once seen the "slit and cleaned" you mention. I would take that as a bad sign for the freshness and quality of the shrimp. Generally, the more of a "convenience" item something is, the worse. (although I'm sure there are exceptions and I might be completely wrong in this particular instance)

            Really, i would buy head-on if it were available.

            I'm under the impression that the shrimp I get from my fish-monger are fresh, but who knows?

        2. I can not speak on shrimp in Boston but in the Bay Area unless they are alive in tank or just remove from a live tank then most likely they are frozen. Live shrimp or just dead shrimp have a light red or pink shell and the flesh is clear. Defrosted shrimp shell are clear and colorless and the flesh is not light color and not clear.

          But shrimp freeze well but live shrimp is something to be enjoyed.

          Cost for live shrimp is about 12 dollars or so in the markets now.

          2 Replies
          1. re: yimster

            I'm sorry but I have to disagree with your color assesment. Shrimp come in many types and colors. Shells can be pink, red, white, brown, with clear or white flesh, or something in between. Freezing does not change the color of the shell at all, or make the flesh go white.

            1. re: The Rogue

              agreed. shrimp have different species. I much prefer the brown-tinged-shelled shrimp over pink-shelled shrimp for that matter.

          2. There was a great article on shrimp in yesterday's SF Chronicle food section that might answer some questions for you.