You've been excited all day to make creamy Cajun shrimp pasta, only to begin cooking dinner and realize you forgot to thaw the shrimp overnight. Luckily, these little crustaceans don't take as long to defrost as, say, a steak might, so you can still forge ahead with the meal you have planned. Per the USDA, you can safely thaw food by submerging it in cold water, or by continuously running cold water over it. But the former method leaves you with wet, soggy shrimp, while the latter uses up a ton of water, as you're running your tap for minutes on end.
Luckily, there is an option C: turning to your salad spinner. Despite the name, these tools are good for more than just spinning salad greens. They can effectively thaw frozen shrimp while sticking to the USDA's advice, since you can fill the bowl with cold water. Many recipes will advise you to pat your shrimp dry before cooking it, especially if you're coating it to fry, so using the salad spinner also puts you a step ahead in that department. Instead of leaving your crustaceans dripping wet, you can give them a quick spin once they're supple, and they'll be dry and ready to go — no need for wasting any extra water.
Give Your Shrimp A Soak And A Spin
Instead of searching for a bowl big enough to thaw your frozen shrimp in, whip out your salad spinner and fill the basket with cold water. You can pour your crustaceans directly into the basket, making sure they're fully submerged in water by placing the lid on top. To avoid any raw seafood juices dripping on your countertop, let the bowl sit in the sink until your shrimp have thawed, which should take up to half an hour. When they're ready to go, pour out the water and spin to dry. Again, you'll want to keep your basket in the sink when you do this to avoid any messy splashes. And if you need the spinner for anything else in your recipe (like lettuce), thaw your shrimp last, as you'll want to wash your spinner after doing so.
It's important to note that it's technically possible to defrost your crustaceans in room temperature water, which will significantly speed up the process. However, it's unadvisable to do so because, as we mentioned, the USDA only recommends cold water here to prevent exposure to contamination. If you end up needing more than 30 minutes to defrost your shrimp, make sure to change out the water after half an hour is up to keep it cold.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.