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Thread: How to Freeze Fresh Shrimp

  1. #1
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default How to Freeze Fresh Shrimp

    What is the best way to vac pack fresh caught shrimp? The shrimp that we caught last year were awesome fresh - really awesome, but quite mushy when we thawed them out.

    Do you par boil them quickly before freezing?

    I left the shell on - but de-headed them...then wrapped in freezer paper a couple times and then vac pak'd and froze them (to keep from poking holes in my vac bags).

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    The frozen shrimp you get in the stores have been pre-cooked.
    They are ready to eat when thawed. I would suggest cooking before freezing.

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    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Do folks have those tasty shrimp around long enough to freeze them? We usually flash freeze the ones we catch and then eat them with-in a week or so. Forget the bears in PWS, I want those tasty shrimp.

    I would like to know what the DIY shrimper does for long storage also.

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    Default Saving Shrimp

    We are still eating the last of our shrimp from last year and it's awesome! My wife divides them up in different sizes for different reasons...ie...small shrimp for salads and some pasta or large for cocktail and bbq. We head and rinse while out on the water. At home my wife will rinse and remove any eggs from the shrimp for long term storage. This seems to improve the quality of shrimp down the road. She then puts them in freezer ziplocks and adds water to the top of the shrimp then dunks that bag in another pot of water to get all the air out of the bag and seals it. She also weighs and labels all bags with dates. Good luck and I hope this helps.

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    I had some of last year's catch this week. Still as good as the day we caught them. We twist the tails off in whittier, leave shells on. Keep in zip locks on ice for trip back to ANC. Once home, we vac bag 1 qt of tails per bag with shells on. We roll the shrimp in 2 layers of tin foil, then put in the vac bag to keep the shells from poking thru the bags. The vac bag process still removes most of the air and turns the package into a silver, tight "log".

    I would not cook them before they are frozen. That would take away from their taste later I would think.

    Never had freezer burn. I am eating shrimp that is 11 months old. (Bottom of the freezer)

    Only "mushy" shrimp I have had are ones that got crushed in the handling process and the Tiger striped ones seem to be a lot softer than the spots.

    For 2009, we are going to twist the tail fin off before we bag them. The "spikes" on the shell near the tail fin are the main culprit in poking thru the bags. Plus, I find it easier to peel the shell if the tail section was off before I cooked them.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default not crushed

    that was my first time with subsitence shrimp.

    The were noticably mushier from freezing - were not crushed during handling....They still had the sweet flavor, but not the same texture....

    It sounds like I basically did what most are doing with them....

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    Default Too Warm

    If they are mushy it sounds like they got too warm before freezing. BUT, on occassion, we find soft ones in the pot. Maybe it is during the time they do their sex change they get mushy.

    The teachers here just ate 3 gallons left over from last year. Everyone said they were as good as fresh.
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    I freeze them in small containers heads off - in the shell with water.

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    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    We just wrap the be-headed shrimp in freezer paper and slip in a zip-lock, task done. The ones we caught last summer taste allmost as good as the day we caught them. The freezer paper just keeps the spiny rascals from poking holes in the zip-lock.
    I wouldn’t waste time or money with vacuum packing, don’t think its necessary, and in my view filling up the bag with water only slows down the freezing process and pulls the natural salts and oils for the flesh.
    Best part of this process is when you take them out of the freezer just toss in a bowl of water for a few minuets and their ready to peal.

    Wish they’d get that road cleared!
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    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default glazing the true vac pac

    lay your shrimp out on a sheet pan, make sure they arent touching and pop them in the freezer. after they are good and froze break them free from the sheet pan you can turn the pan upside down and run cold water over the bottom and shrimp will fall off. throw them in a collander and rinse with cold water, as cold as you can get it. as you are rinsing them toss them around and keep them from sticking too much together. place back in freezer and freeze the glaze. after an hour take them back out and repeat glazing process dont forget to keep them broke apart. after you freeze the glaze again you can bag them in whatever portion you like or even throw them in a big bag and when you are ready just pour out as many as you want. kinda time consuming but the glaze will keep any oxygen away form the shrimp and they are individualy frozen for convienience. and you dont have all that water taking up space in the freezer. leave the eggs in also thats the best part.

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    Thumbs up Akriverrat has it right!

    I agree with everything the previous post said about freezing the shrimp tails on cookie sheets. The only thing I do different is:after tails are frozen instead of running water over them or putting them in a collander, I individually hand dip each tail into a bowl of ice water twice. Then put them back on the cookie sheet and throw in the freezer again for a while before packaging. I double bag them and vacumn seal, but the tin foil sounds like an idea I might try. I like others posting, just ate my last package a few days ago...firm and sweet! This method takes a little more time than others, but in my opinion, well worth the effort.

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    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Talking Freeze them in water

    I use the trick I learned back in New Orleans as a young kid. We got our shrimp on ice right away, headed them, washed them real good than froze them in a milk carton (use Ziploc quart boxes now) lay them in cover them with water and freeze them. They last for years.
    Louis

  13. #13

    Thumbs up vac shrimp

    I count about 50 out which is perfect for two people. I put them in 11 1/2" vac bags fill them with tap water over the top of shrimp... I then put the bags open bag up in my freezer section of my refer... The next night i vac them frozen and put them in my large freezer... I did this with the 5000 prawns i caught last year... There as good as the day i caught them... I pulled my pots tonight and had 198 in 5 pots ...valdez area good luck............tim

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    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akriverrat View Post
    lay your shrimp out on a sheet pan, make sure they arent touching and pop them in the freezer. after they are good and froze break them free from the sheet pan you can turn the pan upside down and run cold water over the bottom and shrimp will fall off. throw them in a collander and rinse with cold water, as cold as you can get it. as you are rinsing them toss them around and keep them from sticking too much together. place back in freezer and freeze the glaze. after an hour take them back out and repeat glazing process dont forget to keep them broke apart. after you freeze the glaze again you can bag them in whatever portion you like or even throw them in a big bag and when you are ready just pour out as many as you want. kinda time consuming but the glaze will keep any oxygen away form the shrimp and they are individualy frozen for convienience. and you dont have all that water taking up space in the freezer. leave the eggs in also thats the best part.
    Holly smokes man, that is just way too much work.
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    Last time we went out shrimping (and hunting) it was 10 degrees out and blowing pretty hard. As soon as we finished hauling pots, we popped the heads off and left the tails on the hatch cover. They froze solid in 15 minutes and we filled quart bags with individually frozen shrimp. It was great because we could open a bag later and get whatever we wanted out. Good way to go!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by breausaw View Post
    Holly smokes man, that is just way too much work.
    i just explained it overthouroughly, you can also find some wax lined boxes that hold about 2# of shrimp ( about the size of a hardback novel, maybe a little smaller ) and freeze them in there. then you can run them under cold water and the water will run out the bottom of the box. make sure you glaze them twice freezing between each glaze. boxes stack nicely in the freezer

  17. #17
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    Here's what i've been doing, I bought a couple of dozen of 1 qt plastic freezer containers at wally world, i fill them with shrimp, fill with water and stick'em in the freezer till frozen solid, take them out and run hot water over the container for a couple of seconds till i can take out my shrimp brick, wrap it up in saran wrap and stack them in the freezer like bricks, done. They keep great, all the packages are the same size so they don't waste space in the freezer. The containers get washed out and reused.

    Steve the potbuilder
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    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    We de-tail 'em on the boat shortly after they hit the air, and put 'em in one gallon baggies. The baggies go on ice until we get home (well, most of 'em make it home...). Then we shell 'em, rinse 'em, and put 'em in one quart freezer bags with a little water and freeze 'em.

    The only time we didn't do it like that we did get some soft shrimp. Could have been from not getting them de-tailed soon enough, or not having enough ice to get them really cold on the boat, or from their tails puncturing the baggies and letting in air. Or it could have been just plain coincidence, I don't know.

    I do know that the method above works to keep the shrimp firm and tasty well into the next season. And, when you want to cook some up you don't have to mess with removing the shells. You just thaw 'em enough to drain off the water and throw 'em right into the saute pan, or tempura batter, or whatever.

    Mmmm, mmmmm....... Tasty.
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    Default Agree! We froze shrimp two years ago in water and just grilled them. Perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by cusackla View Post
    I use the trick I learned back in New Orleans as a young kid. We got our shrimp on ice right away, headed them, washed them real good than froze them in a milk carton (use Ziploc quart boxes now) lay them in cover them with water and freeze them. They last for years.
    Louis
    We bought them off of the docks in Wilmington, headed them, froze them in a Ziplock bag and just ate them. They were better than what you buy in the store. If you talk to any of the Shrimpers, they'll tell you that's what they do.

  20. #20
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Key to is to get them headed and on ICE right away on the boat.

    We now wrap them twice with butcher paper and then vac pak them. Works good, cheap, effective.

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