I am wondering about the best way to freeze fresh shrimp. My friend cooked them in the shell and then froze them, but they appear mushy. Any suggestions?
Where do you live? I ask because unless you live in a coastal area and are buying shrimp direct from the boat, your "fresh" shrimp have very likely been frozen before, and freezing them again will make them mushy no matter what you do. You're usually far better off buying frozen shrimp and thawing them before cooking.
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You said they were frozen with the heads on? The HEADS will be really mushy after freezing, but the body should be fine. WAIT! They were cooked first? With the head on then frozen? I'm still thinking it's the head. By fresh I assume they were just caught, near shore, so no freezing on the boat.
Edit- I would de-head before freezing WITHOUT cooking first, I have done this before after a night of shrimping.
Edited 6/3/2004 11:23 am ET by Adele
But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!
Sorry...probably didn't make myself clear. Shrimp were freshly caught, then deheaded. The shells were left on..Question...should I then keep shells on and freeze, or cook with shells on ...then freeze? Thanks-a-bunch
Freeze with shells on. This way, you won't be limited on how you end up cooking them. If you cook first, then freeze, you won't be able to cook with them again, like scampi or whatever, they'll be tough and rubbery.
Shells on and freeze raw.
Or peeled and raw, freeze with water in container.
I prefer shells on in freezer, with water...always raw.
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In the fall we buy and freeze around 35 pounds of shrimp, heads off and we now go to our somewhat local Dairy, Maola and buy the quart milk containers...they will seal the bottoms there...we weigh out a pound of shrimp or more and add water. The containers are perfect since they can not be punctured by the sharp tails.
In their shells, the flavor is retained better that way. If you peel before cooking the shells can be simmered first to add flavor to a sauce, then discarded.
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We freeze fresh shrimp in containers of sea water.
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