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How do I tell if my dried shrimp are spoiled?

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I have never used dried shrimp before.

About a month ago I bought a package of dried shrimp that I found in the refrigerated section of my local Asian grocery. I did not see that it said "keep refrigerated" on the package until a few days ago. Since these are dried shrimp in a sealed package, I figured they would probably be ok. I opened the package today, the shrimp look fine but smell extremely pungent. I assumed there would be a strong fishy smell, but these have a smell that I can only describe as alcoholic; very strong and sharp.

My instincts tell me "do not eat." I am wondering if this is maybe just how they smell. Comparing it to shrimp paste, the smell is similar, but the dried shrimp leave me with much more of a kicked-in-the-face feeling when I smell it.

I suppose I could go buy another package of shrimps, but where's the fun in that :)

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  1. they aren't dried to the point of being totally dehydrated though. is it like an ammonia smell? i'd chuck them.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Ammonia is bad but they are pretty pungent as a rule. Not as pungent as shrimp paste but still pretty strong. At least the ones that I've purchased

    2. Alcohol smell is not good. I second hotoy: chuck 'em.

      That said, I've had these in my fridge for many months, and they seem unspoilable in that environment. Luckily, they're cheap. Freezing is also an option, of course.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bada Bing

        Ah yes, AMMONIA! That is the smell for sure. Consider them chucked.

        Thanks!