The 3 best options for buying shrimp

Use the best shrimp for dishes such as aguachile.
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)

Gabriela Cámara suggests using shrimp for her aguachile recipe only if you can find very high-quality fresh shrimp. Here are her tips for tracking down the best:

1. Become friends with a shrimper and buy their haul straight off the shrimping boat.

Assuming that’s not an option …

2. Find a reliable seafood counter or store and get to know the fishmonger and their suppliers. Ask for shrimp from that day’s shipment and ask them to keep it in the cooler until you can pick it up.

If that’s still not an option …

3. Buy frozen shrimp that’s been flash-frozen immediately after being caught (sometimes labeled IQF for individually quick frozen) and thaw it yourself.


Once you bring the shrimp home, keep it very cold by putting it over ice in the refrigerator. You can put the shrimp in a small bowl or resealable plastic bag set over a larger bowl of ice. Be sure to use it the same day. When you do, check to see if it’s fresh by smelling it and feeling it. It should smell nearly sweet and not at all fishy or like a dirty dock. The flesh should be firm and translucent, not mushy or opaque.

If you’ve bought frozen shrimp, thaw it safely by putting it in a colander and running cold water over until the shrimp are pliable, 2 to 5 minutes.