The ease and convenience of precooked frozen shrimp allows you to whip up a tasty dinner in a few minutes. A little cooking spray or butter, a medium-hot pan, a few spices and the thawed shrimp provide the flavor and protein in a variety of dishes, from quesadillas to pasta to stir fry.
Always use moist heat to warm the precooked shrimp and don't overcook them. It only takes a few minutes to get the shrimp up to a minimum temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Seafood Safety Tips
Follow all safety guidelines when handling seafood at home. Cleanliness, temperature and time are crucial in ensuring that your shrimp and other seafood are safely prepared for your family and friends.
When handling seafood, either raw or precooked, wash your hands regularly. Keep your preparation area and utensils clean. Scrub cutting boards, bowls and tools with dishwashing detergent and hot water after they've been in contact with raw or precooked shrimp or other seafood. Always thoroughly wash a bowl or platter that held raw seafood before using it for the thawed precooked shrimp.
Temperature and time are important in safe food preparation. Your shrimp must be kept colder than 40 degrees or warmer than 140 degrees. Precooked shrimp can be kept in the freezer for up to six months. Once thawed, precooked shrimp should be eaten within two days.
Thawing Precooked Frozen Shrimp
Thaw precooked frozen shrimp by placing the bag in a bowl or pan and then place it in the refrigerator overnight. Drain the shrimp for two to three minutes before using it in your recipe or salad. Do not refreeze thawed shrimp. Alternatively, if you're in a hurry, place the frozen shrimp in a colander and run cold water over the crustaceans until thawed, usually six to eight minutes. Drain for two to three minutes.
Thaw a frozen shrimp ring by placing the entire package on a leakproof pan or pizza pan. Place it in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the plastic dome and wrap over the shrimp. Drain the shrimp and pat dry before serving. Serve the shrimp immediately or cover with the dome lid and put it in the refrigerator until it is time to serve.
If it's almost time to serve the shrimp ring and it's still frozen, quickly remove the dome lid and sauce container. Run cold water over the plastic wrap covering the shrimp until it is thawed. Remove the plastic wrap, allow the shrimp to drain and then pat dry. Replace the thawed sauce container in the ring and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers and enjoy within 24 hours.
Frozen Precooked Shrimp Recipes
Precooked frozen shrimp is ideal for quick meals and snacks. In general, thaw the shrimp, remove the tail if desired and pat it dry before putting it into a salad or hot dish. Because the shrimp is already cooked, it only needs a couple of minutes in a hot dish to be warmed through. Always warm with oil, butter or sauce to keep the shrimp moist.
Shrimp adds flavor and texture to any meal. Toss the thawed shrimp with lemon pepper, creole or traditional Old Bay seasoning and then scatter it across the top of a green salad or mix it into a macaroni salad. Alternatively, stir it into a cold or hot soup just before serving.
Tuck a few shrimp into a cheese quesadilla or toss with hot pasta and your favorite sauce. Top your grits with butter and spicy hot shrimp. Stir-fry vegetables in a hot pan and then add the shrimp at the last minute. Be sure to pat the shrimp dry first so the hot oil doesn't splatter and burn your hands and face.