You know those small, pre-peeled, and deveined uncooked shrimp you find in the frozen section? There's probably a bag of 'em tucked in the back of your freezer right now. They're super convenient. But when you actually cook with them, you might find they're like tiny sponges -- tiny sponges that wring out in the pan, turning your sauce into a too-thin, watery mess.
Well, good news, convenience-minded shrimp lovers. Chef John has a couple tricks to make frozen shrimp taste almost as good as fresh shrimp just pulled from the bay.
5 Quick Tips for Thawing and Cooking Shrimp:
Before you can cook with frozen shrimp, you'll need to thaw them out.
1. Thaw them in a strainer letting the water drip through.
2. Place them on towels to soak up any excess water.
3. Cook them for a couple minutes on high, high heat just until they release more juices. Let the shrimp sit in the skillet without stirring for one minute, then stir quickly, and let them cook another minute. Then remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon.
4. Now here's another key trick: Save those shrimp juices in the pan. And if you're making a shrimp dish that calls for liquid, include your shrimp-flavored liquid as part of the measured amount of stock or wine or water you'll be using for your sauce. Basically, you don't want the liquid that the shrimp will release to be in excess of the amount of stock the recipe calls for.
5. Once your sauce is done, return the shrimp to the pan to cook through.
How to Cook Frozen Shrimp:
Watch Chef John demonstrate his technique as he makes Shrimp Etouffee.
Cooking with your previously frozen shrimp
Enjoy your thawed shrimp in these 5-star recipes:
"There couldn't possibly be a quicker or more delicious shrimp and grits recipe! I use this recipe to feed my ever-growing teen boys and their friends." -- Barbara
"Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous! I doubled the chicken, and might even go so far as to double the sausage and shrimp next time... a permanent recipe in our household!" -- Karen Green
"We thought this was fabulous! Gotta love the one pot supper. If you're adding shrimp, make sure rice is almost done before adding." -- Minnesota_Girl
"OMG this recipe was AWESOME! Followed the recipe exactly. Even through it has cream in it, it isn't a heavy dish, which I loved! Will definitely be making again!" -- SUSAN201
"A great way to impress friends and loved ones, they will think you got it from a 5 star restaurant!" -- TLKRAK
"Great flavor. My entire family loved it. Very easy to make." -- kgadison
With this recipe, there's no sauce. Prep and cook the shrimp like recommended above, and then strain out the juices.
"Easy preparation, quick and delicious meal. I used large shrimp--made the shrimp broth with the shells, then proceeded with the recipe." -- Cazuela
"This recipe was excellent. The flavour was great and the cajun spice is all you really needed." -- Sheila