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Do You Ever Get Funky Tasting Shrimp?

I don't know why but I seem to get funny tasting shrimp a lot when I go out for Chinese food.I had a bad experience at Bernard's with it and today at Jumbo Seafood. You can taste it in the first bite and then you do not want anymore. It's like that chemical metallic weird taste. I am now at the point where I just order spicy vegetable dishes because I am scared to eat the shrimp.

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  1. Not shrimp, but I occasionally get a mussel that tastes like it was in the floor of a barn for awhile.

    Bamboo shoots, to, sometimes, believe it or not.

    1. My GF got some weird tasting jumbo shrimp at Strip Ts in Watertown one night. She didn't get sick from them, but was a bit bummed out about her meal, since the shrimp had that same strange metallic taste that you mention. I've had nothing but good food from Strip Ts, and their food always seems to be fresh, so I don't think it was anything they did on their end, but who knows...

      1. I think I've read that the metallic taste comes from the iodine in the sea water. Not sure why only some shrimp taste that way, but I've noticed it in frozen shrimp that I've cooked at home as well as shrimp I've eaten out. I don't think it's a freshness problem, but it is off-putting.

        1. Advice, when buying from the store only get it if it is frozen. Shrimp does not stay fresh long. When the fisherman collect the shrimp from nets, they instantly clean the shrimp, cut the heads off and instantly flash freeze the shrimp.ONLY GET FROZEN SHRIMP.

          2 Replies
          1. re: CHEFBUCK

            anyone know how long shrimp can be kept in the fridge once cooked?

            1. re: Gordough

              Store in ice water and change daily with the shell still on. Change water daily. I would say no more than a week if kept like this.

          2. Most of the shrimp we get in Boston is frozen and shipped from Asia. I find most of it to be pretty poor.. I save most of my shrimp eating for family visits to the Carolinas, or FL and Mexico Fresh and local really spoils you.

            4 Replies
            1. re: 9lives

              The best I've had in the area was from Cram Seafood. Miss going there - always ask about the quality, esp. the owner - he'd tell me not to buy stuff if it wasn't good enough, and will tell you where it's from, too.

              But you make me want to visit the Carolinas just for the shrimp... never have been there, know it'd spoil me, also.

              1. re: threedogs

                I am Carolina born and raised, and at times have taken shrimp for granted.
                No longer, however.
                I now know how lucky we are.
                How does $ 3.50 per lb (head on) for 25 count, just off the boat sound???
                That's what I pay in Georgetown, SC on the dock at Independant Seafood.
                Y'all come on down!

                1. re: Tee

                  Everyone else pays twice as much good find there.

              2. re: 9lives

                It depends on the variety of shrimp too.

              3. A lot of the shrimp most people are eating when they are out OR that are bought in the grocery store have been farmed in far off places like Thailand or China...in murky disgusting unhealthy tanks.
                Try to find wild caught shrimp that are a product of the good ole U S of A, and be careful when you eat out.

                1. I experienced that today at a diner. It was horrible. I have had it before, mostly at small places but not at the larger places. It will ruin your taste for shrimp.

                  1. When I buy frozen shrimp to cook at home and it's proudly "Product of the USA. From the Gulf of Mexico" When I cook it---ick, yech, blech. Very, very "off" tasting but I can't put my finger on it. (Maybe the taste of oil spill?) I buy it because I keep thinking it's healthier than the stuff from SE Asia, but I'm not so sure. Anyone else have this experience?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: gourmanda

                      I spent a week in Alabama recently and ate shrimp nearly every day. No taste of the "oil spill", and I have a very sensitive palette for off-tasting food.

                      That metallic taste that most posters have mentioned, I think, is a bi-product of the fresh shrimp being not-so-fresh. I really only notice it when I buy "fresh" shrimp, and since I live 300 miles from the Gulf, it can't be THAT fresh. I never taste it in frozen shrimp. And I never tasted it in Alabama on the Gulf. Or in NOLA.

                      You may be under or overcooking your frozen shrimp if you are tasting yucky flavors, or perhaps the frozen shrimp has been hanging around the freezer too long. I get mine from Costco, and it always tastes great, no matter how I prepare them.

                      Still, I wish I could get my hands on a pound of fresh Royal Reds right now...

                      1. re: RGC1982

                        I'm not sure why it's only the frozen USA Gulf shrimp. I don't believe it's the way it is cooked, as I cook the same way no matter where the shrimp is from. The shrimp are from stores with seemingly good turn around and the shrimp never has ice crystals to indicate thawing/refreezing or improper storage/length of storage. Doesn't matter the brand eithe.

                        It's a mystery. . . .

                        1. re: gourmanda

                          Or - maybe it's the contaminants that can't be seen but is may still be present in the Gulf waters from the oil spill.

                          1. re: threedogs

                            threedogs, I do believe you might be right. Whatever it is ruins is very offensive. The shrimp do not smell bad, they only taste really odd. I compare it to dishwater - No, I haven't tasted dishwater, not on purpose anyway. lol
                            It just reminds me of that... like it was marinated it that.. ugh.

                    2. i know this is an old thread, but since it was resurrected i'll chime in. as already mentioned, iodine content is sometimes responsible for that metallic taste. however, it can also be a function of how the shrimp are handled in the kitchen - they can pick up the flavor from metal cookware or serveware, particularly if they're prepared with highly acidic ingredients like vinegar and citrus juice. for this reason, i always season or marinate shrimp in a glass bowl.

                      1. Don't bother even thinking about ordering shrimp/prawns from virtually any restaurant. Unless you can actually watch the shrimp/prawners tie up to the dock and watch the live shrimp/prawns being purchased in the spot by the restaurant and then watch in person those shrimp/prawns being prepared in front of you. Virtually every shrimp/prawn served in virtually every 'Western' restaurant has been pre frozen. It's always the bottom line. Remember that. Cheap pre frozen sea food smothered in fake truffle oil and cheap butter covers a lot of sins in a restaurant. Sprinkle on some beautiful fresh chopped tarragon and 'Bob's your Uncle'.
                        Small shrimpers/prawners don't have the equipment to 'flash-freeze' aboard so the shrimp/prawns are iced until the boat off loads at the factory boat or back at the factory ashore. Those shrimp/prawns could have been stone dead for a day or more. YUCK! The shrimp/prawns 'flash frozen' on 'factory boats are first put into a chemical bath to kill bacteria etc. It's the chemical bath you are tasting. In Asian countries the factory boats are so filthy from stem to stern it's like visiting a public toilet in Saigon. To make matters worse the more remote the fish processing facilities are the cheaper and stronger the chemicals the shrimp/prawns are 'bathed' in. Some of these facilities basically just us formaldehyde and bleach.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Puffin3

                          "Small shrimpers/prawners don't have the equipment to 'flash-freeze' aboard so the shrimp/prawns are iced until the boat off loads at the factory boat or back at the factory ashore. Those shrimp/prawns could have been stone dead for a day or more. YUCK! "

                          Yuck? Properly iced shrimp will not spoil in a day. I don't think they typically stay out overnight but I could be wrong on that point. The relatively small shrimp boats on the South East coast have been doing it this way for generations.

                          1. re: kengk

                            I'm referring to 'Asian' shrimp/prawners. These boats supply the HUGE majority of the product/s sold around the world. That majority comes to restaurants pre frozen in blocks. The product's have been 'bathed' in GOD knows what chemicals to reduce the 'fishy' taste/smell commonly associated with sea food which is not at it's best shall we say. Once any sea food species dies spoilage occurs VERY fast. Much much faster than any meat product from the land. Actually the 'off' smell associated with sea food is caused by a gas which forms in the surface of the sea food. Having commercial fished for just about every edible species of sea food off BC's coast for many years I feel I know of what I speak. East Coast 'day fishers' can off load every day and yes the product is about as fresh as reasonably possible down there.
                            I'm not referring to them. I have personally witnessed sea food even a day old being dunked in a very diluted bleach/cold water bath to remove the gas on the outer surface. It completely takes away any 'fishiness'. At home if you get some sea food that has a 'fishy' smell squeeze a lemon into a gallon of ice cold water and very briefly submerge the sea food in the 'bath' for a few seconds. Remove. Pat dry and you'd swear the sea food was caught five minutes ago.

                            1. re: Puffin3

                              Thanks for sharing what you've seen, Puffin3... yuck. I'm concerned enough for my own health to avoid it...

                          2. re: Puffin3

                            I do believe you speak the truth, Puffin3. I had a yuck-serving of shrimp some years ago - haven't actually ordered it since... was enough to keep me away.

                          3. Baking soda. Used to make the shrimp seem firm and "crunchy" - a desirable characteristic in Chinese cuisine which is supposed to signify freshness. They over did it.

                            It's often overdone with beef too. Baking soda to make the beef soft and tender.