Cooked shrimp skewered with a black background
13 Tips To Make Your Shrimp Taste So Much Better
By Wendy Hector
Shrimp are usually flash-frozen the day they are caught, so if you see a 'fresh' label, they've probably been defrosted by the retailer. When choosing shrimp, look for and IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) label, ensure no chemicals are listed as ingredients, and opt for wild-caught over farmed shrimp.
The Best Quality
Defrost block-frozen shrimp in the refrigerator for about 12 hours or thaw IQF shrimp in a bowl of cold water and pat dry. Never thaw at room temperature, as this can attract dangerous bacteria, and avoid using warm or hot water for the same reason and to prevent any unintentional cooking.
Defrost The Right Way
The dark, unappealing veiny line along a shrimp's outer edge is a part of the shrimp's digestive system, and it's best to remove it before cooking. Shelled or not, gently slice down the center of the shrimp's back and pull on the vein with the tip of your knife to remove it in one or two pieces.
Devein Your Shrimp
Sprinkle a spoonful or two of potato or cornstarch over your shrimp, distribute it with your hands, then rinse until the water runs clean. The starch helps to pull out any unseen and unwanted bits that may have made it through any initial cleaning while also mellowing out fishy smells or flavors.
Clean With Starch
The brining process maximizes flavor and texture and only takes about 30 minutes. While the salt in the brine enhances its natural flavor, try adding a little baking soda that reacts with the shrimp's protein fibers to prevent it from drying out and give the shrimp a snappier, livelier texture.
Brine Before Cooking