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May 2, 2013 05:19 PM

How to chill and store shrimp gumbo in the fridge?

SO has a brilliant idea to make shrimp gumbo for work next week. We don't have much experience either making or storing soup, especially with shrimp so I thought someone here could help. Most of the advice online is to make the soup ahead of time and set the shrimp aside but this assumes that you'd be able to access a stove and have the ability to throw the shrimp in on the day you plan to it. Unfortunately, at work there is only a microwave and I don't think these 16-20 count size shrimp will cook well with just the heat of mixing in after the soup is warmed. Would it be OK to just add the shrimp and make the soup as usual, cool on the counter and just pop it in the fridge and reheat slowly the day of? Does it need to cool completely before I store it? Thanks for any and all advice.

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  1. Unless you have a walk-in, you'll want to cool the gumbo before you put it in the refrigerator.

    Also, don't be stressed about reheating the gumbo with the shrimp in it. They'll be fine. They may not be perfect, but most shrimp in most gumbos are overcooked even the first time around and the gumbo is still fantastic. So, don't sweat it.

    If you happened to manage perfectly cooked shrimp the first time around and would like to preserve this texture as much as possible, you could remove the shrimp from your bowl before putting it in the microwave at your work then put it back in once the gumbo is good and hot. The heat from the gumbo will warm them slightly, but in order for them to be hot you will, in fact, have to cook them further to get them hot again.

    10 Replies
      1. re: fldhkybnva

        You're welcome. I LOVE seafood gumbo. I'll be following in your footsteps and making one in the next couple of weeks.

        1. re: 1POINT21GW

          Just want to say that I made scallops gumbo. It is pretty good. I got that idea after making some scallops congee.

            1. re: 1POINT21GW

              I never had it until last week. You had/should pan fried the scallops first. The "bits" from the scallops are full of favor -- or called umami. I "deglaze" the bits and then pour it in the gumbo stock as well.

              Anyway, just throwing some idea out.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Did you use a dark brown/black roux or a lighter roux?

                1. re: 1POINT21GW

                  Well, to be honest, I started off with a light roux, but by the time I added the "glazed bits" from the scallops, the entire gumbo turned somewhat dark -- not a surprise.

                  I suppose next time I can start making the roux from the scallops bits from the start.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Gotcha. Without having ever made scallop gumbo, I would guess that a lighter roux might go well with scallops. At least that's where I'd start.

      2. re: 1POINT21GW

        Wow that worked perfectly! Well, it worked for my lobster sauce so I assume it worked for SO's gumbo today but I'll have to find out later. Even with a good 5 minutes in the microwave the shrimp are not tough at all, quite surprisingly. Thanks so much for your advice.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          You're very welcome. I'm glad to hear it turned out good.

      3. <Would it be OK to just add the shrimp and make the soup as usual, cool on the counter and just pop it in the fridge and reheat slowly the day of?>

        I do that. You are talking about bringing your gumbo to eat as lunch at work, right? What I do set aside is the rice. I separately store them and only add the rice to the hot gumbo as the last step. I don't want soggy rice.

        < Does it need to cool completely before I store it?>

        Not completely, but you want it to cool down somewhat.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Great, thanks. Yea, actually SO made shrimp gumbo and at the same time I made shrimp in lobster sauce so these tips will help for both. I cooled them on the counter until they were no longer steaming and then popped them in the fridge. I will just put them in the microwave but as you said if eating with rice should definitely put that separately. Thanks.

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            Microwaving will turn the shrimp into pencil erasers. You may want to heat what you need, as you need on the stove....slowly!


        2. I urge you to reconsider heating up a shrimp based dish at work. Seafood and workplace microwaves are not compatible. Fish and shellfish have pretty distinct odors - I can always tell when someone has nuked some seafood in our work microwaves as the smell lingers in the break room for quite a while, and not in a pleasant way. And this is coming from a shrimp lover.

          4 Replies
          1. re: boogiebaby

            They will just have to live with this. Yes, I have heard that people complain about the smell of seafood. Well, sorry, people need to eat their foods. I am not a seafood lover and really don't care much about shrimp, but I have no problem with the smell.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I have heard that too and all I heard from others yesterday after I reheated was "wow, that smells good, what is it?" I have experienced the linger of salmon before, but not with many other fish which has been reheated in the microwave.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                Salmon tends to be more offensive to a few. The truth is that it has not because of reheating. It has simply to do with heating. If you have ever been in a professional kitchen, it smells very strong and is not pleasure to some people.

                As for reheating at work, this is something can be deal with in the work environment. Sound like you had a very good experience with your gumbo as well as your lobster sauce shrimp. Best wishes.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Thanks, yea we made salmon at home a few weeks ago and while I usually bake I pan fried this time and finally got what everyone meant by the lingering stench.