Buying frozen shrimps
- Dio Seijuro Sep 29, 2010 09:24 AM
Mostly I am wondering what's good frozen shrimp brands to buy? Or can I request at a farmer/super market the same kind of shrimp as they have on display, but frozen? And is that better than pre-packaged brands?
I prefer shell-on head-on.
The reason I am asking particularly about frozen shrimps is because for many of the Asian dishes I make at home, I only need a few shrimps at a time. Even for pasta and seafood stews, I only need a handful each time. I don't want to buy a few shrimps every time I cook such dishes. I'd prefer to buy maybe a few pounds at a time frozen that I can thaw out however much I need. I don't want to buy the fresh shrimp on display at seafood counters since I'd most likely damage them by re-freezing them at home.
The problem is there are many options and I don't want to test out the bad ones. Suggestions appreciated!
PS: I have access to Whole Foods and huge Korean/Japanese operated supermarkets.
You may receive a lively debate on whether to purchase wild or farm raised shrimp. Since you list two stores you have access to, I would recommend you purchase an IQF product, i.e., Individually Quick Frozen., minimum size 31-40 count. You can go to your store and see what your options are. Personally, I prefer shrimp labeled as White, as opposed to Tiger.....and I purchase 16-20 count mostly.
buy WILD GULF SHRIMP from the gulf of mexico, frozen. it'll be written on the label. i usually get mine at the "giant" grocery store here in arlington, va. can't think of the brand name right now....
here is one online source, fwiw: http://www.cajungrocer.com/fresh-food...
don't buy farm-raised shrimp from thailand.... it is not raised in good water conditions.
At Whole Foods I buy the frozen wild Key West shrimp, 16 -20 count; they have been consistently good.
A lot depends on how purist you are. Most shrimp sold retail in US are frozen...rarely head-on. Some prefer shell on, (often easy removal). Wild shrimp is great, but hard to find and expensive. Costco carries several sizes of shelled, deveined shrimp frozen...and its pretty good. Indiv quick frozen is by far the most popular, and remember the fresh looking shrimp at the fishmongers is usually thawed, and may have been around for a few days.
Great point OldTimer about the shrimp having been thawed for a few days. I used to stay away from frozen shrimp, I always had to have the "fresh" shrimp. Never dawned on me that they just open the same bag you can buy and dump them on ice. It wasn't until one day I was buying some and the guy behind the counter suggested I buy the frozen which was buy a pound get a pound free as opposed to the "fresh" shrimp which was the same price for just one pound. He just laughed and said thats the same shrimp here!
We used to live in Texas, about 1.5 miles from the Gulf, & the shrimp were fresh indeed. We've since moved & can now only buy frozen shrimp. One kind comes in a solid block of ice. I ended up using an ice pick when we didn't need the whole pound (& we never do). Avoid those.
The other kind come individually frozen. I can thaw as many as we need in a container of hot tap water. Change the water each time in cools & within 10-15 minutes you'll have thawed shrimp. I never noticed that the water actually begins to cook'em.
I've never seen head-on frozen shrimp. You may end up buying them un-frozen & freezing them yourself. If you usually use, say, 6 shrimp as a time, you can put 6 in a bag to freeze & then you're good to go for thawing.
We don't buy any farmed fish or shellfish but that's up to you.