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Argentina Red Shrimp (It makes me cry)

Okay, I'm stumped. I found this in the freezer section at Trader Joe's, probably about 6 months ago. Bought only a fair amount, only to find like all my other Trader Joe's favs, it went the way of the Do-Do Bird. Asked when & if they'll get it back again (stupid question), did my homework on the internet (yes I know when it's fished, where & for how long).

But STILL...

I want this little crustacean really badly! It's awesome & if you all know where I can get my hands on this slippery one, I will surely be obliged! (No, Whole Foods will not get it, nor do the guys at the fish counter even know what it is!)

Trader Joe's! You tease me like a 12 year-old girl discovering her flowering sexuality. How can you do me so wrong again?

Oh the humanity!

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  1. These are the only frozen shrimp I like and haven't been able to find them in over a year. Bummer.

    5 Replies
    1. re: hrhboo

      Are they the same as royal red shrimp? If so, you can find them on-line. Here is one place:


      I've been to Joe Patti's many times and have never been disappointed in the quality, and I'll bet that these shrimp are very similar to what you are looking for. Funny thing- I have never particularly liked royal reds; they are gorgeous to look at, but I could never seem to cook them right. Just read on the web site that you have to cut the cooking time by 2/3s! No wonder I've always screwed 'em up!


      1. re: Clarkafella

        Those might be them, I'm not sure. The Argentinian reds have a totally different taste/texture to regular shrimp, almost like crayfish. Thanks for the link!

        1. re: hrhboo

          They usually tout these as having a taste more like lobster than shrimp- so they could very well be the same thing. At $6.29 a pound, it wouldn't cost very much to find out! Good luck- remember that shorter cooking time...

          1. re: Clarkafella

            Unfortunately, Joe Patti's web site is saying that they are out of stock on these right now. Looks like everyone is in the same shrimp boat as far as not being able to find these right now.

      2. re: hrhboo

        Unless you live on a shrimp farm in Costa Rica, you are probably eating flash frozen shrimp like the rest of us despite whatever your fishmonger may tell you after he or she defrost the bag.

        Shrimp, unlike fish, does not keep well at sub-frozen temps and absolutely needs to be frozen.

        Fortunately, the flash freezing technology and the small size of the shrimp makes it quite difficult to tell the difference between the two.

      3. I also love these little guys. My wife finally asked the folks at Trader Joes if they were coming back and she was told because of a price increase they were discontinued but keep checking. TJs often removes items when the price goes up but brings them back a few months later at an increased price. Go to TJs website and voice your support in getting them back.

        I did find them at Santa Monica Seafood, at a much higher price, on 6/18.

        Good Luck!

        1. Sounds like a similar taste might be rock shrimp which TJ's carried- I don't shop there anymore so no idea if a current product.

          1 Reply
          1. re: torty

            I visited a friend in central Florida, not realizing what a non-foodie she was. The culinary highlight of my entire trip (and the only one, BTW) was the broiled rock shrimp at Dixie Crossroads. I'd fly there again to eat there a couple of times.

          2. I had the same issues, but I only got the argentine shrimp one time, went back the next week for more because they tasted so good and they were GONE!!!

            I am sad to hear they are not in inventory.

            1. They are available fresh at Santa Monica Seafood for $15.99/lb.

              1. ballyhoo, dry your tears. I just bought (based on your love for these things) 2 bags of them at the Trader Joe's on Alameda and San Fernando in Burbank. $8.99 or so for the pound bag.

                1. Santa Monica Seafood has had them for the last few months...fresh. About 15.99/lb

                  1. They are in at TJ's in La Jolla now!

                    1. They're back in Arizona again!!!! G-d I love these little guys. I stocked up, as I think they are seasonal. $8.99 a pound! I'm a gonna make a Red Shrimp Po Boy (like a lobster roll). Then some scampi. Then some on the barbie. Then some panko-dusted tempura. Mmmmm, Argentine Red Shrimp.

                      1. Purchased 2 bags at TJ"S Redondo Beach today. Hmmm maybe I should have gotten more?

                        1. Are they really THAT good? Should I scour my local TJ's for them?

                          1. Did not have them today at TJ's In Silver Lake...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Hershey Bomar

                              They didn't have them at Trader Joe's in Culver City, either!

                              I asked if they were going to be getting them in, and they said that they can't order them anymore. The guy said it was maybe something with the supplier, I don't know. But it doesn't look like they're be getting more in anytime soon.

                              I'm so mad!

                            2. they have them now south bay san jose great !! john

                              1. I know this thread is old but I just bought some from tj's today. This is my first time trying them, hope they are good!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: tasteeone

                                  I bought the regular wild shrimp at Trader Joes the other day but passed the Red Argentine right on by. Luckily I'll be back over there in a week or so, guess I'll have to make another stop.

                                2. Meijers. @12.99 a bag, all day long, 365 days a year. Very large, totally different texture and flavor than any other shrimp I've tried. Lobstery(made up word). Like the difference between maine lobster and spiny lobster. Luv em. That's how I found this old thread; googling argentine shrimp and their not so mysterious origins and reputation. I have to say I was suspicious with their being so large and sweet, and inexpensive.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: phavored

                                    Where did you get these? What's Meijers?

                                    1. re: ballyhoo

                                      Big Wal-Mart competitor in the Midwest -- I think it started in Michigan. Good produce.

                                      1. re: DebinIndiana

                                        Yeah, they started in Holland, Michigan, then spread throughout the midwest. Hence, the Dutch name.

                                      2. re: ballyhoo

                                        Yes, Meijers is a store that started in Michigan and is far south as Indianapolis. I just bought 2 lbs for $11.99 at Meijers. Never tried red shrimp before hope they are as good as I hear they are. Lived in Florida for 5 yrs.at the beach, bought fresh shrimp right off the boats. Got spoiled living there. Trying red shrimp tonight.

                                    2. I just bought 4 lbs. of these for $35 on one of those group buying deals. Will be picking them up tomorrow so I haven't tried them yet. Where I live it's close to impossible to find wild shrimp, fresh or frozen, and I have sworn off farmed shrimp for all kinds of reasons. But now I'm thinking that these may also be an environmentally unsound choice because of the way they are caught. Anyone have any information about them?

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Nyleve

                                        I think it's the nature of wild caught :/


                                        Hmm. Not sure if that horrible link will work. Anyway it's approx 1kg shrimp to 20kg of hake. Rays as well which are all discarded :(. Wish they wouldn't do that but it's not profitable for them to carry all of that.

                                        1. re: youareabunny

                                          That article from 1998 is way outdated. I've read a few articles lately and over the past fifteen years the Argentine red shrimp fishing industry has completely changed their procedure and equipment to greatly reduce bycatch. They trawl at midlevel, targeting just the shrimp. Their shrimp catch has increased, bycatch is way down, and they are considered a sustainable fishery.

                                          1. re: JMF

                                            Numbers? I wish every fishery would operate this way.

                                      2. I got two bags of the Argetinean rde shrimp from Trader Joe's the other day. I cooked some up in a thai curry over pasta. The shrimp weren't that great tasting. They didn't compare to fresh Gulf shrimp. They did have a slight lobster taste, but weren't as sweet as Gulf shrimp.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: JMF

                                          I picked mine up yesterday and cooked them in a garlic sauce with pasta. Actually, they were pretty delicious. Compared to the tasteless, rubbery farmed shrimp I've stopped buying, these have a nice flavour and very good texture. Not sure I'd compare them to lobster, but they are definitely good enough for me to buy again. And the price was great so really good value.

                                          I will have to run this past marine biologist son, though, to make sure I'm not murdering the earth for the sake of my dinner. Ugh. He's such a party pooper.

                                          1. re: JMF

                                            Pretty hard to favorably compare a bag of loose frozen shrimp to fresh fill-in-the-blank shrimp. I think if you have access to fresh shrimp, you are fortunate. Also, I'm sure you know this but various shrimps and prawns have flavor and texture profiles that are different from each other, right? Geographically, I'd say the majority of the US probably has difficulty in varying degrees of accessing truly fresh pristine shrimp that is wild-caught. IMHO, this red shrimp from TJ's is a very good product for what it is. I'm fortunate to have access to live wild-caught shrimp but wouldn't hesitate to pull a bag of this for a recipe.

                                            1. re: bulavinaka

                                              I have access to wild fresh caught shrimp. Gulf, and Maine shrimp, others occasionally; here in the NYC area. I am fully aware of the differences in taste and texture of different types of shrimp, and even the same shrimp at different times of the year. I've been lucky enough to have lived in coastal ares in the past where I could buy fresh live shrimp off the boat, Maine and Florida. Which no frozen product can compare to. I think that the TJ's product wasn't cared for as well as could be hoped for. TJ's has some problems with their products at times.

                                              1. re: JMF

                                                I'm glad you do, but I think your comparison was a bit unfair. It's like saying that team from Boston U just couldn't compare to the Denver Broncos.

                                              2. re: bulavinaka

                                                I live in a rural area northeast of Toronto, Ontario. My access to fresh wild shrimp, or any other really fresh seafood for that matter, is next to zero. So I am thankful for anything that makes my seafood eating experience better - which I would say this does. On the other hand, I am able to get fresh corn that could make you cry, and grow fresh tomatoes that city people can only dream of. So let's call it even, shall we? I like these red shrimp, compared to anything else I can get around here.

                                                1. re: Nyleve

                                                  I live in Toronto, I and would really like to advise you that you have some of the best access to seafood that is not on a coast. If you are willing to drive to Toronto (aka, the biggest Asian (Chinese) community outside of Asia) and you will find the some best live seafood. There are several T and T supermarket locations and they will carry live prawn and king crab when it's in season. Sunny Supermarkets also has several locations, but the gem is the Finch and Leslie location, they import a lot of live seafood from Asia. Some non-Asians just find it a little too adventurous. If you love seafood, you should seek it out.

                                            2. Wow! I started this thread back in 2007! I have no idea why it's got so much play right now. So I must let you know, Trader Joe's must have gotten the message over the years because I seem to find these little guys quite regularly now. Hurray!

                                              1. there are only about a dozen boats that fish for the royal reds. they are found very deep so it takes a mile of stainless steel cables to get the nets down that far and it's really an art form. many try it but when their lines tangle after a couple times they go to standard shrimping. the boats stay out about a month at a time and freeze their catches in 70-80 lb onion bags. royal reds and argentina pinks are very similar in color and taste. the royal reds are half head, half tail...the argentinas are 1/3 head and 2/3 tail. they usually sell royals with heads on as they sell better and the weight to cost per pound etc...the argentinas are normally sold sans heads. the royals are an odd shrimp as they are not very uniform with different sizes usually in the same batch...the argentinas are much more consistent in size. the royals dwell in about 46 degrees at about 2000 feet and the argentinas are at about 1400 feet. many times the argentinas are sold as royal reds, but if you know the above facts you can usually tell the visual difference. there's nothing at all wrong with the argentinas though! they are both amazing and good for you! thought some might find these facts interesting! ;-)

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: JJefferson

                                                  Well I sure did, thanks for taking the time!

                                                  1. re: JJefferson

                                                    Thanks for that information. I haven't been able to find out anything about them, except that they're delicious.

                                                    1. re: JJefferson

                                                      Wow, thank you.

                                                      On a side note, the best shrimp I've ever had were fresh from the Sea of Cortez. Have looked online to buy frozen ones in vain. Argentines do as a decent alternative, although a little different, the flavor is good.

                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                            Will give it a go, ns1. I suspect that the open air beachside place's grilling technique played as big a part as freshness in their quality, but fer sure worth a try. Cheers!

                                                            1. re: Jimisi

                                                              Please report back! Pretty pricey but not really THAT more than the $22/lb I pay santa monica seafood...

                                                              1. re: ns1

                                                                that is not bad for this great food ! most only eat 1/3 p at most look at trader joe s master j saxton

                                                              2. re: Jimisi


                                                        1. I also love this shrimp! Trader Joe's has been out of stock for a while, but Harris Teeter is my new go to source.

                                                          1. I'm familiar with these TJ shrimp but haven't seen them in awhile. I always thought they were over treated with chemicals because they are so glossy/waxy when cooked up...delicious though. As an alternative you might like rock shrimp, royal reds or Gulf pink or brown shrimp but with Gulf shrimp you may taste naturally occurring iodine. I like that flavor but many do not. Just make sure the shrimp are wild caught.

                                                            15 Replies
                                                            1. re: zackly

                                                              The ingredients list shrimp. There is nothing else.

                                                              The shrimp are currently suffering early mortality syndrome so TJs is not stocking them until the price falls.

                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                Seafood processors frequently don't declare added phosphates which increase weight by binding with water on packaging because there is no reasonably affordable, definitive test to detect them. So they cheat with impunity. I may be mistaken but EMS is a disease that effects pond raised shrimp only. These shrimp are wild.

                                                                1. re: zackly

                                                                  That's what I was told...I guess I'm an idiot (hides face in idiocy shame). There is apparently a supply issue which has raised the price so hopefully that issue will be resolved so they will return to TJs.

                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                    I worked in the shrimp industry for almost 20 years so I've seen all the tricks. Sadly, misinformation and prevarication are the norm not the exception in the seafood industry.

                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                      MORE MEN AND LADIES LOVE THEM SO THERE IS JUST SO MUCH !! MASTER JAXTON

                                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                    Just bought some at TJs yesterday. It did seem the price is a little higher.

                                                                    1. re: Jimisi

                                                                      Can we get a pic? I try to find this whenever I'm at TJ but never seen it and don't even know what to look for.

                                                                      1. re: ns1

                                                                        Try googling, "Trader Joe's wild uncooked Argentinian Red Shrimp."

                                                                        I tried pasting a link to one of the images but it was a mile long.

                                                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                          ty, definitely never seen these.

                                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                                            Those are them. Sometimes they're a bit hidden by other piles and you need to dig a bit, or ask an employee if they're in stock. They're always glad to help. Of course, every store is different.

                                                                            Guess I stand corrected on the price. 8:99/lb yesterday in WA.

                                                                            Those wild blue shrimp come and go too, pretty good.

                                                                            1. re: ns1

                                                                              Saw these at TJ's in Culver City this AM. $8.99 per pound.

                                                                            2. re: bulavinaka

                                                                              have to look for them so great mmm !!

                                                                            3. re: ns1

                                                                              THEY DO NOT ALWAYS HAVE IT ! ASK FOR HELP !! MASTERJ SAXTON

                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                            T J S HAS SOME GREAT BLUE BIG SHRIMP ABOUT 15. USD NO SHELLS WILD THEY ARE GREAT . LET US KNOW !MASTER J SAXTON

                                                                        2. I sell them $ 12.99 per pound plus shipping they come frozen in 4# box size. Available 10/15 ,16/20,and 21/25.feel free to contact me at shalemfoodservice@hotmail.com