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Sea animals have an odorless compound called trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) to manage the water’s saltiness and maintain fluid balance. When these animals die, TMAO starts converting to trimethylamine (TMA), which makes them taste fishy. Luckily, there are a few easy methods you can try to get rid of the fishy taste in shrimp.
You can get rid of the fishy taste in shrimp using several methods. First off, you should always start by rinsing the shrimp with cold water. If unsuccessful, you can soak the fish in milk or an acidic or citrus liquid. Alternatively, you can cover up the shrimp’s fishy taste with spices and herbs.
Do you enjoy eating shrimp but cannot withstand them tasting fishy? Well, you’ve come across the right article. Here are 5 methods you can try at home to get rid of the fishy taste of shrimp:
1. Rinse Shrimp With Cold Water
If the shrimp is relatively fresh, this method will work perfectly. The TMAO on the shrimp’s surface is the first to convert to TMA. If you rinse the shrimp thoroughly using cold water and put it in the coldest part of your freezer or use it instantly, you’ll slow down the chemical process.
Take care not to use warm or hot water to wash the shrimp. This delicate protein requires minimal cooking time, so warm or hot water can turn it inedible.
If the shrimp still smells and taste fishy, the damage isn’t limited to the surface and you need to try other methods.
2. Soak Shrimp in Milk For 30 Minutes
Follow these simple steps:
- Soak shrimp in whole milk for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Drain the milk.
- Rinse the shrimp in cold water.
- Pat the shrimp dry.
Time for a brief science lesson: milk contains a protein called casein which reacts with the TMA in the shrimp. Casein binds with TMA and removes it from the shrimp. So after an adequate soaking time, when you drain the milk and rinse the shrimp, all the TMA washes away. Your shrimp will smell and taste fresh and clean!
3. Coat the Shrimp With Starch
This Japanese method is useful in getting rid of the fishy taste of shrimp. Here are the steps:
- Place the shrimp in a bowl.
- Cover the shrimp with potato/rice/corn starch.
- Leave it for a few minutes.
- Rinse the starch off the shrimp along with the sliminess.
- If you still think the shrimp smells or tastes fishy, repeat the process till it’s perfectly clean.
Starch soaks up and removes the fishy flavor, sliminess, bacteria, and impurities from the shrimp and leaves it clean and fresh. Scientifically, starch eliminates TMA from the shrimp and consequently, the fishy odor and taste.
4. Soak the Shrimp in Citrus or Acidic Liquids
Here are the steps for you to follow:
- Mix 2 tablespoons of the citrus or acidic liquid with 3 cups of cold water in a bowl.
- Soak the shrimp in the same bowl for 5 minutes.
- Drain the water from the bowl.
- Rinse the shrimp with cold water and pat them dry.
TMA is a basic compound. This scientific tidbit means that you can use acidic components on TMA and they will react instantly. So you can try soaking your shrimp in vinegar or lemon/orange/tomato/lime juice. TMA and the acidic liquid will react together to form an acidic salt and water as the products. You can remove them and get rid of the shrimp’s fishy odor and taste.
5. Cover Up the Shrimp’s Fishy Taste With Various Flavours
If you don’t want to go through a lot of hassle, you can use rich, strong flavors to mask the shrimp’s fishy odor and taste during its preparation. Here are some options:
1. Add a Lot of Spices to the Shrimp
Shrimp is excellent at absorbing flavors and marinating quickly. So you can flavor the shrimp heavily with spices of your choice to make it taste divine and non-fishy. Some elements that go well with shrimp are garlic, cajun, black/white/cayenne pepper, and paprika.
2. Use Plenty of Herbs in the Shrimp’s Making
Herbs are excellent contributors to covering up odors. And the smell is half the taste so you’ll benefit by using herbs in the shrimp’s making. Some popular choices are chives, bay leaves, oregano, dill, and sage.
The fishy taste in seafood is hardly a reason to let it go to waste (unless it’s spoiled, of course). So in this article, we compiled 5 easy methods for you to get rid of the fishy taste in shrimp and enjoy it fully!