A seafood lover's diet will almost always include prawns. Prawns are an excellent addition to salads, curries, and pasta recipes. They are also quite versatile, rich in nutrients, and high in protein. You can buy prawns in many varieties, including fresh, cooked, shelled, and unshelled.
Is it possible to freeze prawns at home, or is this something that you should avoid?
When buying fresh prawns in the UK, you should either consume them right away or freeze them as soon as possible. This is mostly because you do not know exactly how recently they were caught — unless you caught them yourself!
How to freeze fresh (or raw) prawns?
- As soon as you get your fresh prawns, you must run them under cold water. At this point, you may choose to remove the shells if you so like — if you do, be sure to give them another rinse. Peeling is essentially a matter of personal taste, and it will not have much of an impact on the freezing process.
- Use a paper towel to remove any excess water on your prawns.
- Put them in a plastic container. If you add more than one layer, you can keep those layers from sticking together by using greaseproof paper sheets. It is recommended that you do not freeze prawns in bags so that the odour of the prawns does not permeate the other food in your freezer.
- Write the date when you bought the prawns as well as the date that they should be used by on the top of the container.
How to freeze cooked prawns?
Freezing cooked prawns is perfectly safe. To ensure that they remain fresh for as long as possible, give them a good wash and freeze them as soon as possible.
Tips to consider when freezing prawns
Now that you know how to freeze them, we have three tips to follow while freezing prawns to ensure the best results:
- Check the temperature in your freezer: Temperatures of -18°C or below are optimal for freezing prawns. Because the temperature in most household freezers is set a little higher than this, you need to check the temperature in the freezer before you put your prawns in there and make any necessary adjustments. If you cannot adjust the temperature, you may want to think about freezing the prawns for a shorter period.
- Keep them intact: Though we just mentioned that you could peel your prawns before you freeze them, it is strongly recommended that you do not remove the head and tail. They insulate and ensure that your prawns stay as fresh as possible during the freezing process. Having said that, even if you decide to freeze your prawns after you have removed their shells, you will not see much of a difference.
- Defrost in the fridge: When defrosting prawns, you need to tread carefully since harmful bacteria can quickly grow on shellfish that have not been appropriately handled. You should never let prawns thaw on the countertop or anywhere else where they will be exposed to room temperature.