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How to chill and store shrimp gumbo in the fridge?

fldhkybnva May 2, 2013 05:19 PM

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.

  1. boogiebaby May 4, 2013 02:52 PM

    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
      Chemicalkinetics May 4, 2013 03:04 PM

      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
        fldhkybnva May 4, 2013 03:12 PM

        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
          Chemicalkinetics May 4, 2013 03:30 PM

          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
            fldhkybnva May 4, 2013 03:45 PM

            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.

    2. Chemicalkinetics May 2, 2013 09:46 PM

      <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
        fldhkybnva May 2, 2013 10:23 PM

        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
          Uncle Bob May 3, 2013 06:45 AM

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

          Luck..

      2. 1POINT21GW May 2, 2013 07:54 PM

        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: 1POINT21GW
          fldhkybnva May 2, 2013 08:23 PM

          Graat, thanks for the tips.

          1. re: fldhkybnva
            1POINT21GW May 2, 2013 09:23 PM

            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
              Chemicalkinetics May 2, 2013 09:47 PM

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

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                1POINT21GW May 2, 2013 09:50 PM

                Interesting - never had it.

                1. re: 1POINT21GW
                  Chemicalkinetics May 2, 2013 09:53 PM

                  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
                    1POINT21GW May 2, 2013 09:57 PM

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

                    1. re: 1POINT21GW
                      Chemicalkinetics May 2, 2013 10:06 PM

                      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
                        1POINT21GW May 2, 2013 10:09 PM

                        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
            fldhkybnva May 3, 2013 10:21 AM

            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
              1POINT21GW May 3, 2013 03:58 PM

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

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