Can you eat defrosted prawns without cooking?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat defrosted prawns without cooking?”, along with other information such as the nutritional content of prawns, and delicious recipes to make with them.

Can you eat defrosted prawns without cooking?

No, you cannot eat defrosted prawns without cooking as it is unsafe, and could increase the chances of food poisoning. This is because defrosted, raw prawns may carry a lot of harmful bacteria such as Vibrio and E. coli.  As a result, to avoid any chances of serious illnesses, it is advised to cook raw shrimp and kill any lingering bacteria. 

What are the dangers of eating defrosted raw shrimp?

There are several dangers of eating defrosted raw shrimp such as:

  • Allergic reaction: An allergic reaction occurs when your body comes in contact with foreign substances called allergens, which may enter your body through inhalation, ingestion, or even simple skin contact. Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include sneezing, dry throat, hives, and a runny nose.
  • Stomach ulcers: These occur when small sores form on your small intestine or on the lining of your stomach. A stomach ulcer can form due to an infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria or long-term consumption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Advil.
  • Food poisoning: This is a food-borne illness caused by the consumption of food contaminated with Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella, or a virus. The most common symptoms of food poisoning include high fever, constant vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches, which may kick in within hours after exposure.

How can you tell if your defrosted raw shrimp is spoiled?

You can tell your defrosted raw shrimp is spoilt in many ways:

  • Physical appearance: Fresh shrimp is usually translucent and firm, with the shell tightly attached to the body. Whereas, spoilt shrimp will normally have discoloration, black spots on the tail, or shells that seem loosely attached to the body. If the shrimp looks yellow, it could be a sign of sodium bi-sulfate being used to bleach old shrimp.
  • Smell: Spoilt shrimp will have a repulsive odor which indicates the formation of harmful bacteria and should not be consumed under any circumstances. Fresh shrimp usually has no odor and may smell slightly like salt. To be safe, it is best to buy shrimp over the counter as it is easier to smell than shrimp sold in plastic packaging. 
  • Texture: Spoilt shrimp will be mushy and soggy to the touch, unlike fresh shrimp which is usually firm. It may also have a slimy texture determined by holding a shrimp in between your thumb and index finger. If the shrimp leaves your fingers sticky and you notice slime, it is spoilt and unfit for consumption. 

What are the health benefits of eating shrimp?

Consuming shrimp has many health benefits, such as:

  • Antioxidants: Several antioxidants such as astaxanthin, which is a carotenoid, give the red color to shrimp. It is able to protect the body against inflammation by free radicals. Free radicals are therefore neutralized, which leads to slow aging and a low risk of developing cancer in individuals.
  • Low in calories: Shrimp is highly nutritious, due to it being low in calories, but high in protein. This makes it an ideal meal for those looking to lose weight or build muscle mass. Shrimp are also packed full of nutritious vitamins and minerals, which makes food containing shrimps a good healthy alternative.

What is the best way to prepare raw shrimp?

Here are several delicious ways you can cook shrimp:

  • Shrimp stir fry: heat oil in a pan and add fresh ginger, mushrooms, bell peppers, and broccoli, and season to your liking. Once everything starts to cook, set the vegetables aside and fry your shrimp until golden and opaque. Finally, add the vegetables back to the pan and top it off with some green onion.
  • Shrimp fried rice: In a large wok or skillet, add oil and fry the shrimp until it’s thoroughly cooked. Remove the shrimp and add peas, carrots, and finely chopped garlic, and stir fry until it begins to soften. You can add scrambled eggs if you desire. Lastly, add the parboiled rice and cooked shrimp. Season with salt, pepper, and soy sauce and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Crispy fried shrimp: Prep the shrimp marinade by adding paprika, salt, and pepper into a bowl of milk and let your shrimp marinate for ten minutes. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, pepper, and paprika, and coat your marinated shrimp thoroughly. Fry your shrimp until crispy, remove from the oil and enjoy.

Other FAQs about Prawns that you may be interested in.

Can you eat prawns without deveining?

Can you cook king prawns frozen?

Can you cook frozen prawns


In this short article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat defrosted prawns without cooking?”, along with other information such as the nutritional content of prawns, and delicious recipes to make with them.