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Jan 26, 2013 04:05 PM

Shrimp fishier after defrosting

I bought 2 lbs of shrimp a few weeks ago which I decided to freeze. I have done this before and it's been fine. However tonight as I opened the bag it seemed that the shrimp had a fishier smell than when I initially froze them. It's not the type of fishy smell which you know you should not eat them but more just fishier. Have you noticed this? I assume since they will be cooked, it's OK to eat?

Just because a friend mentioned something about water leakage, I will note that when I pulled the bag out of the bowl of cold water it was sitting that quite a bit of water had seeped in somehow.

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  1. According to Cooks Illustrated, virtually all shrimp soldin American markets has been thawed from frozen blocks.
    So chances are you were refreezing, which negatively affects texture and cell wall integrity.

    2 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      Yea, well considering I felt the need to wash my hands twice since handling them I went back for a 2nd whiff test and perhaps it has a bit too much smell to be considered OK. I remembering being told that seafood shouldn't smell other than a fresh ocean smell and these shrimp have a distinct smell which probably is not a good sign?

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        Won't hurt you. There are ethnic foods involving fermented raw fish and worse. If you want to save it, make a chowder or gumbo to include other flavors that will offset the age of the shrimp. Rinse the shrimp first.

    2. The 'fishy' smell is a gas that forms on all seafood and other protein based foods. The gas is there to attract bacteria and insects to help in rotting the food. Anyway, at this point it's just a surface gas. Bowl of clod water and couple of tablespoons of lemon juice. Dump the shrimp in and right away remove hem and pat dry. The acid in the lemon juice will dissolve the gas to some extent. Don't leave the shrimp in the water for too long. Sauté' for about thirty seconds on each side in a med. heat pan with a few drops of clarified butter and a couple of drops of lemon juice. The reason lemon/lime juice is used in many seafood dishes is to the dissolve the gas causing the 'fishy smell/taste.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Puffin3

        Wow, thanks! I kept them hoping that someone else would post here. Still stinky, but you think that they are probably fine? SO was looking forward to shrimp and kielbasa alfredo and the alternate plan has been to just sub in chicken.

      2. Puffin has nailed . They are fine to eat. And the strong kielbasa will definately mitigate any residual effects.

        1. They'll be okay to eat, but pretty much ALL shrimp sold in the U.S. - unless they're super-fresh head-on Gulf shrimp - have already been frozen & thawed. Thus you're freezing them again, which is NEVER a good idea for ANY seafood product.

          They won't make you ill, but the quality will be much less than stellar. In the future, your best bet is to buy less thawed shrimp, or to buy them still frozen.

          1. I bought these little beauties today off a boat in Cowichan Bay. I made corn flour pasta/into a hot ss pan/clarified butter/italian parsley/grated garlics/red pepper flakes/ground black pepper and when it was ready to serve I added two cups of the fresh peeled shrimps. They took a minute to cook then a couple of tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and a hand full of grated grana padano on top. It's 1:35 AM here and I'm having a little bowl full from the fridge now!