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Defrosting Shrimp

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Does anyone have a nifty system for thawing frozen shrimp that minimizes water use? I normally put the shrimp in a colander and run a very light amount of water over the bunched shrimp. I'm thinking some sort of sparging set up would be more water efficient. Any brilliant techniques out there?

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  1. How much shrimp are we talking? When I need a pound or two, I put it in a bowl of cold salted water. I break it up as it starts to thaw to expose more shrimp directly to the water. It takes about a half hour start to finish.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Christina D

      And you can other flavorings besides salt (bay, lemon, thyme, peppercorns...) and then poach the thawed shrimp gently in that liquid.

    2. Well, I haven't found a *quick* way to defrost shrimp without using running water and a colander, but if you plan ahead, just leave 'em in the fridge (in a container) for a day or two, depending on how hard they were frozen, how many shrimp you have, and how efficient your fridge is. Uses no water at all!

      1. When defrosting anything, if you put them on a metal object, they'll defrost quicker. I use a cookie sheet to defrost shrimp in the fridge. Conduction from the metal aids in quicker defrosting (I think that the scientific reason, perhaps someone could correct me) .

        Anyway, seems like having it in a single layer on a metal tray (steel especially) makes it defrost pretty fast.

        1. I put them in a plastic ziplock sandwich bag and drop them in cool water. Takes about 10 minutes for them to thaw.

          1. On a jellyroll tray I lay the shrimp down. I place a wet but not soaking clean kitchen towel over the shrimp. They defrost under the towel with a min. amt. of water but don't get water logged. Clean and use or refrig for later.

            The towel gets thrown in the dishwasher load for cleaning. Top rack.

            2 Replies
            1. re: HillJ

              Smart idea - using the dishwasher for prompt towel wash.

              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                I have my Auntie to thank for that tip!