Frozen shrimp is available cooked and uncooked. Cooked varieties are pink in color and the color of uncooked shrimp depends on what type of shrimp it is, however it is usually grey. Cooked and uncooked varieties are available in numerous forms including whole, deveined, tail on, peeled and easy peel.
Shrimp sold at supermarket seafood counters is generally just frozen shrimp that has been thawed and put on ice. It can go days before someone purchases it and lose quality and flavor. So it is best to just buy frozen shrimp. When buying frozen shrimp check the bag for ice crystals as this is a sign that the shrimp has been thawed and refrozen. If you find ice crystals don't buy it.
By far the best place to buy frozen shrimp is online from a frozen seafood delivery company. When you buy frozen shrimp online you are buying direct from the supplier so you are guaranteed the best frozen shrimp available. Because you are cutting out the middleman frozen shrimp prices are usually better online. After you place your order the shrimp will be shipped overnight in a temperature controlled box.
Shrimps are normally sold by the pound. The number of shrimps per pound is indicated on the bag or if you are purchasing online it is indicated on the sales page. An example would be 16/20. This means there are 16 to 20 shrimps per pound in the bag. The lower the number, the bigger the shrimps.
Some people say not to buy deveined, peeled or easy peel frozen raw shrimp because the processing degrades the flavor. I have to disagree. I have been buying frozen shrimp in many forms for several years and the only noticeable difference is the convenience of the processed varieties. You can cook processed shrimp directly out of the freezer. Where as if you want to clean or peel frozen whole raw shrimp you have to thaw them before cooking or clean and peel them after they have been cooked. For these reasons I highly recommend raw frozen easy peel, peeled and deveined varieties over frozen whole raw shrimp.
The most common ways to prepare frozen shrimp include grilling, broiling, pan searing and boiling. When you buy frozen shrimp online from a gourmet seafood supplier they usually come with a cookbook full of ways to cook frozen shrimps. Cooked frozen shrimp just need to be thawed before eating. They are commonly served as appetizers or in shrimp salad and shrimp cocktail.
The best way to thaw cooked and fresh frozen shrimps is to put them in a foil-covered strainer over a drip pan and place them in the refrigerator for 12 hours. After 12 hours remove them and rinse them under cold water for about 30 seconds. Give them 2 minutes to drain and they are ready. The best method of defrosting frozen shrimp in a hurry is to completely submerge the shrimp in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove them and run them under cold water for 30 seconds. Give them 2 minutes to drain before using.
For best flavor, thawed uncooked shrimps should be cooked immediately. However, they will last up to 48 hours in the refrigerator when tightly sealed in a covered bowl. Thawed cooked shrimps should be consumed immediately, but they will last 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator when sealed. After thawing frozen shrimp they should never be refrozen as they will become tough and undesirable.
You can find further information about the numerous species of shrimp, frozen shrimp recipes and shrimp buying tips on this site.