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This “Delicious” Costco Freezer Find Makes the Best 2-Ingredient Dinners

published Jan 6, 2024
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Credit: Heather McClees

When I was growing up in Asia, I was never really into frozen food. My mom would make dinner — Filipino chicken adobo, pancit bihon, pork menudo — from scratch for our family of six all the time. When I lived abroad after college I carried that tradition with me in Shanghai, then in Hong Kong, of cooking fresh meals for myself. There was also a unique eating-out culture in both cities, so frozen shortcuts weren’t really a thing.

That changed after I moved to the United States in 2020, when I discovered more about the wondrous freezer section. Now as a mom, I find it tiring to prepare fresh meals every single day, so I’ve started embracing freezer finds as the epitome of convenience. Take Costco’s Kirkland Signature Tempura Shrimp: It not only saves me time in the kitchen, but also helps make meal prep such a breeze.

Credit: Apple Mandy

What’s So Great About Kirkland Signature Tempura Shrimp? 

Tempura is a beloved Japanese dish by way of Portugal. If you’re not super familiar, the art of tempura making is a craft and there’s science involved behind a perfect tempura. Preparing tempura can be very tedious — you’ve got to choose the best flour, use the right oil, prepare the batter, know the optimal oil temperature, and determine the doneness (by checking the size of the bubbles). If it’s not done right, it can turn oily, soggy, and heavy. 

I was surprised when I tried Costco’s hand-battered tempura shrimp. They are not as oily as I thought, and they are crunchy when baked to perfection. They take just 14 minutes in the oven; flip them halfway to ensure all sides are cooked.

The shrimp are plump and enveloped in a crisp, flaky layer of batter; when you take a bite, it makes you forget your worries for a second. While the batter is slightly thicker, it still tastes delicious — like those served at mid-range Japanese restaurants. 

Credit: Apple Mandy

What’s the Best Way to Use Kirkland Signature Tempura Shrimp?

Having a box of tempura shrimp in your freezer helps you recreate Japanese classics at home at a fraction of the cost. I have put these out as an appetizer, added them to my bento box for lunch (which includes short-grain rice, pickled vegetables, and fruit slices), and topped with fresh ramen or udon noodles with them. 

Tempura shrimp is so versatile that it can be eaten by itself or with almost anything. A box contains 30 pieces, so it will definitely last long in your freezer. For my husband, me, and our toddler, that’s about three months of delicious meals in less than 15 minutes.

Find it in stores: Kirkland Signature Tempura Shrimp, $19.49 for 30 shrimp at Costco

What Costco freezer finds are you stocking up on for winter? Tell us about it in the comments below.

This is part of How to Be a Lazier Cook, highlighting the super-easy recipes, cooking tricks, and grocery items you need to start off the year a little lazier and a lot more delicious.