If you’re going to be cooking shrimp soon and you’ve removed your shrimp from the freezer in order to give it time to thaw, you may be horrified to find that your frozen shrimp turned white.
You might also have many additional questions, such as, can the white spots be removed, if the white spots will negatively affect the taste, as well as if it’s safe to eat shrimp with white spots on it.
Here is a complete overview explaining possible reasons why your frozen shrimp has turned white, as well as many other important facts about frozen white shrimp.
Your shrimp could have been freezer burned
One of the most common reasons why frozen shrimp turns white is that it has become freezer burned.
There are some telltale signs of freezer burned shrimp, which includes white discolored areas on the shrimp, hard or rigid shrimp, and shrimp that appear dried out.
If your shrimp has been freezer burned, then the level of severity will determine whether the shrimp is still edible.
Freezer burned shrimp can still be eaten, but not many people want to consume shrimp that’s freezer burned because it doesn’t have a very pleasant taste.
What does freezer burned food taste like?
Freezer burned food has a very distinctive taste that is not easy to describe, nor is it pleasant.
Of course, the taste will depend on the severity of the damage, so if you want to eat shrimp that has only mild freezer burn, then it’s possible to get away with it without the taste being too severely damaged.
Freezer burned food isn’t dangerous, and won’t make you sick, so if you decide to eat it, then you don’t have to worry about it harming you.
What causes freezer burn?
Freezer burn is caused by the moisture loss from food that has been stored in the freezer. It results when food has either been left in the freezer for too long or it wasn’t properly sealed before being placed in the freezer.
It can be very frustrating and discouraging to look in the freezer with the intention of enjoying a nice, creamy bowl of ice cream or thawing out a nice thick steak (or bag of shrimp) only to find it covered with excessive ice crystals, a telltale sign of freezer burn.
Ways to salvage freezer burned shrimp
Shrimp isn’t cheap, and if you look in your freezer only to find that your shrimp has freezer burn, then depending on the severity, there are some ways to salvage it.
One way to salvage your freezer burned shrimp is to simply cut off the parts that contain the damaged portions.
However, if your shrimp has freezer burn throughout, then you might opt to grill or cook the shrimp in a dish that has many flavors in it.
The heavy seasoning can possibly camouflage the taste in many cases, especially if you use seasonings like various herbs, broths, and more.
Your shrimp could have White Spot Syndrome
White Spot Syndrome (WSS) or white spot disease is a viral infection that occurs in shrimp and fish. While WSS is fatal in shrimp, it’s completely harmless in humans, making it safe to eat shrimp (or fish) that have it.
If you can get past knowing that you’re going to consume shrimp that has a viral infection, then you can actually enjoy a great shrimp meal regardless.
Many people who suspect that their shrimp has WSS would prefer to throw it out, which is fine, if that’s what you feel more comfortable doing.
Unlike what many shrimp lovers might believe, WSS is not killed by freezing the shrimp. Most shrimp with WSS don’t even make it to the processing stage because they die rapidly from the condition, but some cases can go undiagnosed, and the shrimp don’t show symptoms and are subsequently processed.
Has your shrimp been covered by a white glaze?
Shrimp is often covered in a white glaze that is intended to help the shrimp retain its moisture after thawing. The white color that you notice on your frozen shrimp could simply be this glaze melting off.
So, if you notice that the shrimp is white, don’t immediately jump to conclusions before allowing the shrimp to completely thaw and then examining it.
Only then can you determine if the white on your shrimp is simply glaze melting off, or if it’s WSS or freezer burn.
FAQs on Frozen Shrimp Turned White
Here is a list of questions and answers that those who cook shrimp often have regarding finding white spots on their frozen shrimp.
How do you tell if frozen shrimp has gone bad?
If your shrimp has gone bad, you will likely know it immediately, because it will emit an odor that is like rot. The texture of the shrimp will also be different, as it will be mushy, which is the total opposite of the firm texture that fresh shrimp should have.
Shrimp that has begun to go bad will also have black spots on its tail, as this is a clear indication that you should throw out the shrimp or take the chance on becoming ill.
Can I eat shrimp with freezer burn?
Despite the fact that freezer burn is unappealing, there is no harm in eating shrimp or other food that has it. While you might opt to throw away a carton of freezer-burned ice cream because the taste will be extremely compromised regardless of the addition of toppings, you might choose to cook your freezer-burned shrimp because if you season it well enough, you can possibly hide the nasty freezer-burned taste.
Can I consume frozen shrimp that is beyond its listed expiration date?
Keeping shrimp in the freezer is a great way to preserve it if you’re not going to cook it right away. However, a freezer can only preserve the shrimp to a certain extent, and if it’s beyond its expiration date, it might not be a good idea to eat it.
If you’re determined to eat the shrimp even though it’s expired, be sure to examine it carefully. Is there an unpleasant rotting smell? If not, you may be in the clear, as long as there are no other signs of decay. It’s not worth the risk of getting sick just to eat some shrimp, so you’re really better off tossing the shrimp if it’s out of date.
What are some of the best herbs and spices to season shrimp with to hide the taste of freezer burn?
Any herbs or spices that have a strong taste can be used to effectively hide the freezer-burned taste and smell on your shrimp. Garlic, onion, basil, and even soy sauce are some perfect seasoning to use on your shrimp for this purpose.
Using the proper seasonings can make your shrimp so delicious that you won’t detect any freezer burn taste in the least, which, of course, is the idea.