How to Defrost Shrimp

How to Defrost Shrimp thumbnail
Shrimp is used in many appetizer and main dish recipes.

Shrimp is a type of shellfish that's low in calories, offering the heart-healthy benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. After the nets are reeled in on shrimp boats, the shellfish are typically frozen because they are so perishable. When properly prepared, shrimp can be stored in the freezer for four to six months. Minutes before cooking, you can remove shrimp from the freezer to defrost. While it's safe to defrost shrimp in the refrigerator overnight, the quick-thaw method prevents a fishy odor in the refrigerator.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Bowl
  • Colander
  • Kitchen towel
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Instructions

    • 1

      Remove the shrimp package from the freezer. Cut the shrimp package open and pour them into a large bowl so there's plenty of room for water to fill the bowl and run over the shrimp. Choose a bowl that's only half-full once the shrimp is in.

    • 2

      Set the bowl of shrimp in the kitchen sink. Fill it with cold water. Turn the water down to a trickle and allow it to continue to run into the bowl for 15 minutes, causing water to constantly spill over the sides.

    • 3
      Use a colander to drain shrimp after thawing.
      Use a colander to drain shrimp after thawing.

      Pour the shrimp into a colander to allow it to drain. Leave the shrimp in the colander for three to four minutes to allow excess moisture to drain off. Remove from the colander and pat dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • When thawing shrimp in the refrigerator, place paper towels under the package to catch liquid as it thaws.

  • To conserve on water, fill the bowl of shrimp with cold water. Drain the water and add more cold water every three or four minutes for a total of 15 minutes.

  • Do not use warm or hot water to quick-thaw shrimp as you may end up cooking it in the process.

  • If shrimp smells funny, rancid or bad after thawing, throw it out instead of taking chances.

  • Never refreeze thawed shrimp.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

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