How to Cook Frozen Shrimp

plate of fried spiced prawns


Frozen Shrimp for a Quick Weeknight Meal

You have plenty of options when it comes to cooking frozen shrimp. It can be thawed quickly and then cooked the same way you would cook any shrimp, grilled on the barbecue, sauteed in a frying pan for a stir fry, or tossed in a pot for shrimp gumbo. Cooking shrimp in its frozen state is a possibility too, but there's only one good way to do that. Both methods make an easy job of getting a homemade meal on the table after a busy workday.

Quick Thawing

Shrimp thaw quickly, in five to 10 minutes, when you place them in a large colander and run cold tap water over them. But they're apt to become waterlogged this way. A better choice is to place the shrimp in a large, sealable plastic bag before setting them in the colander. Move the bag around every few minutes to help ensure that the fish thaw evenly.

Cooking While Frozen

Gentle, slow cooking allows frozen shrimp to thaw a bit before they start cooking, so the outsides don't overcook before the insides cook completely. Begin by placing the shrimp in a pot of cold water, then bring the water to the point just before it starts boiling, when it is quivering but not bubbling. Turn the heat off, cover the pot and let the shrimp poach for five to 10 minutes until pink.

A Recipe for Frozen Shrimp

Use frozen shrimp in any recipe that calls for cooking shrimp in a liquid, such as tomato sauce for jambalaya or coconut milk and chicken stock for shrimp curry. Instead of adding the shrimp while the soup or stew ingredients are still simmering, turn off the heat and add the frozen shrimp to the pot so they slowly thaw, which will take about five minutes. Reheat the dish slowly after the shrimp have thawed for another five to 10 minutes.