Trader Joe’s Argentinian RED SHRIMP

“Trader Joe’s Argentinian Red Shrimp are caught off the southern coast of Argentina. They have a sweet lobster like flavor and texture. Grill, barbecue or sauté. Serve with pasta, on salads or as an entrée…” (Wild, Raw, Peeled and Deveined Frozen Shrimp)


Trader Joe’s frozen Argentinian Red Shrimp are tasty and convenient. I regularly buy these, as after trying them once I found them to be quite good and a decent value (*well, at that time!). These shrimp are large, meaty and actually do have a sweet “lobster-y” flavor and texture. A plus is they are wild. Farmed shrimp can be less flavorful than wild ones. These are Patagonian Red Shrimp wild caught in the icy waters off Argentina’s coast in Patagonia. They are cleaned and individually flash frozen and are a very decent size (20/25 count aka “Large”). Are these “the sweetest shrimp in the world”…well even if some marketer came up with that line they actually do taste sweet and yes even have a “lobster-y” taste and texture. (If you are interested in learning more about them here’s detailed info about “Patagonian Red Shrimp”)

You can use these Patagonian Red Shrimp the same as any other shrimp. If I’m not using the whole package I just take out as many shrimp as I need then close it up tight with a twisty, and double bag that inside a Ziplock freezer bag to help prevent freezer burn and smell. So first things first, best way to defrost shrimp. First, if you can plan ahead, do the traditional overnight thaw in the fridge in a covered bowl. (TIP: Any liquid after defrosting can be used for shrimp stock). If you have didn’t plan ahead the next option is put them in a bag, submerge them in a bowl under a light stream of cold water (weight them down). They should be defrosted in 20 minutes. The last and not best method is I’ve simply put some shrimp in a bowl, covered them with an inch of cold water, stirring them every 5 minutes or so, which also works and takes maybe 30 mins. I would not cook them from frozen! They will shrink a lot and lose a lot of juice, nor would I nuke them to defrost but I’m not big on microwave.

Cooking: Cook them normally as you wish however these do cook fast. So be sure not to overcook them. If you are say using a sauce, you can simmer the (defrosted) shrimp slowly in the sauce at the very end cooking them in the sauce maybe 2 minutes (turning them over once). As soon as they are no longer translucent and look firm these are cooked, and/or at least should be removed and then added back to your dish at the end. Not over cooking will keep them plumper and bigger. When you overcook shrimp they become tougher, chewier and shrink up. TIP: marinate 15 min in lots of TJ’s CUBAN SPICE BLEND. Or any spices of your choosing. Ajika blend also is terrific as is TJ’s Peri-Peri Sauce. These shrimp are terrific simply sautéed in olive oil with lots of garlic, scampi style. You can blot them with a paper towel, optionally sprinkle them with a little seasoned flour and sauté them in oil and butter. One trick I saw on MilkStreet recently was to pan fry shrimp on one side only, then take them out of the pan and finish them in your dish for 30 seconds at the end. This is a great idea. These shrimp are of course great grilled / sautéed and used in a pasta dish. You can put them on a skewer and broil or grill them (oil them). They are equally great gently poached 3 minutes, which is a good way to make them for cold cooked shrimp or for the top of a salad.

If you try these shrimp you will probably like them as much as we do. I find them super convenient to have in the freezer. TJ’s sells these Wild Red Shrimp (1 lb. bag) for $9.99

*UPDATE-1 (Feb 2021) price increased to $10.99. UPDATE-2 (Apr 2022) price went up to 11.99! Yikes!

More cooking ideas follow.

I made a nice Thai Shrimp Curry with veggies and TJ’s Thai Red Curry sauce – adding the shrimp during the very last 2 minutes (a no-recipe recipe follows below).

THAI STYLE SHRIMP CURRYSauté some onions, garlic, and chopped ginger in oil for 4-5 minutes. Throw in chopped up carrots, celery, potatoes (optional add ins: mushrooms, peas, sweet potatoes, scallions) …sauté everything for 5 more minutes, then add 1/4-1/2 cup liquid (water or broth*) simmer for 10 minutes, then toss in a jar of TJ Thai Red Curry sauce and simmer about 10 minutes or until all the veggies are tender. The last 2 minutes of cooking, add your shrimp and cook gently in the sauce, stirring occasionally. Serve the curry with jasmine rice and add chopped scallions on top.

Shrimp Roll on Brioche Bun

There are so many ways you might use shrimp. Here’s one more: As these shrimp are “lobster-y” they are perfect in a Shrimp Roll (aka the Poor Man’s Lobster Roll). Gently poach them. When cool, split them and mix with a little mayo and lemon and put into a lightly toasted buttered Brioche bread or Brioche Bun (spread with a little mayo, and sprinkle a little lemon, a little Old Bay seasoning or dill) Easy and delicious.

Ramen? Yes. I used the shrimp in (“Roy Choi style”) instant ramen with a slice of cheese and butter.. (crazy but it works, see video below). For this dish which was a dinner, I made a veggie stock instead of using the included packet of seasoning* and added some fresh mushrooms. I added the defrosted shrimp at the very end of cooking, and only cooked them about a minute or two. See they look juicy (not overcooked)? TIP: That little flavor packet included with instant ramen is just loaded with Sodium (like 50-70% of daily recommended level)? Bad for you, so better to use your own stock or a low sodium stock and maybe just add a pinch of the flavor packet. Worst case, use only half the packet and if it tastes too flat, add something to flavor it up without adding much sodium (a dash of low sodium soy sauce or a few drops of Nam Pla (fish sauce).


Another idea? Vietnamese style rice paper shrimp rolls (search Asian markets for the rice wrappers)

One more idea? Fried rice with shrimp.

Vietnamese Shrimp Rolls with Peanut Hoisin Sauce (Gỏi Cuốn with Nước Lèo)

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 1bohica
    Jan 18, 2021 @ 10:47:46

    I use this with the stir fry vegetables (the one without the packet of secret sauce) or the veggie fried rice.
    I add the General Tso sauce.
    That’s it, no rice no nuttin



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