So you want to use some beautiful fresh shrimp in a dish that you are making?
I show you how to deshell and devein your shrimps, small and large ones, without any special tools.
🦐 How to clean your shrimp?
This is the best way to devein shrimp. No weird hacks!
Here is an overview, the details to print are in the recipe card below.
Break off the shrimp head.
Remove the shell with your fingers.
Pull off the tail. (can be left on for dippers)
Make a cut along the dark vein on the back. Take out the vein and discard.
Rinse and use your shrimp.
- Use a small pointy knife (aka paring knife) to take out the veins. A fork or toothpick are also an option but I think they slow one down.
- Keep a bowl of water with lemon juice to wash your hands. The lemon gets rid of the fishy smell.
- The fresher the shrimp the less your seafood will smell.
- Remove the tail. The tail is only needed if you intend to use the shrimp as a dipper.
- Use your shrimp heads, shell and the tails to make a shrimp stock. When deshelling, seperate the veins from the shells and head. You don't want the veins in your stock! #zerowaste
Using up your shrimp right after deshelling and deveining them is definitely the way to go but it can't hurt to have a batch in your freezer.
Normally getting the fresh and best shrimps means buying a bigger bulk or quantity of shrimps. Because the best shrimps are a commodity!
You want to clean them once in one go because who's got time to do that again and again, right?
So you clean your lovely catch of fresh and raw shrimp and then you store them in batches in your freezer.
I use zip lock bags for that.
Just place the servings that you would use for a meal into a zip lock bag. For example, we are usually 2, so I will place enough shrimp into one bag to prepare a dish for two.
You can keep your fresh deveined shrimps for a day in your fridge, but cook them soon!
Shrimp have two veins, the one on the back and the one on the bottom. The transparent one on the underside is almost not visible and it doesn't really matter if you remove it or not. Most people leave it and many don't even know it exists.
The top black/green/brown vein is the one that you have to remove because that's the intestine of the shrimp. It's the stuff that the shrimp has digested, it's the poop and it's sandy. If you eat your shrimp raw, as in a cocktail, you must remove it, or else the harmful bacteria might cause loose motion. If the shrimp is cooked with the vein in, you won't get sick because the heat kills off the bacteria in the vein. That said, there are a set of people, including Paul, who get an allergic reaction from the shrimp vein when consumed. That mainly happens with large shrimp and not so much with the small shrimps. In doubt, simply devein your shrimp.
Most do but not all. If you ever see a black vein in a shrimp, that's when you know that they didn't devein their shrimp.
Yes, frozen shrimp come already cleaned and deveined. Never ever freeze whole unshelled shrimps because they will take a while to thaw and the shrimp will lose some of their beautiful texture.
A shrimp is deveined when the back is cut open and, usually, the dark line (intestine vein) is missing. The shrimp curls up instantly with heat when sauteed or fried.
Yes, you can use this shrimp deveiner tool if you want.
Commercial frozen shrimps are not fresh and usually come from large farms from unknown origins. I.e most frozen shrimps in Europe come from Vietnam. I don't recommend buying and using frozen shrimp, the quality is not comparable to fresh shrimp.
Technically speaking, shrimp and prawns are two different varieties of crustaceans that are related to each other. One is more common in freshwater the other in salt water and there are shrimp varieties as well, (i.e. black tiger prawn). BUT Americans, and most of the world, call them shrimp. The UK, and former colonies such as India, call them prawns. So, nobody really cares which they are eating, the names that are used locally are more prevalent.
Get shrimps that are not too big (jumbo shrimps are not that tasty) and if you want to save your sanity, avoid small shrimps. The smaller they are the more work to clean them.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment section further below!
How to devein shrimp
- 1 pound Shrimp whole + raw
- Take a shrimp into your hand and break off the head.1 pound Shrimp
- With your fingers, open up the shell, starting from the inner stomach/leg area where the shell is the thinnest. Take off the shell with the legs.
- Decide if you want to keep the tail on or not, it's only needed if you want to use the shrimp as a dipper. The tail should be removed if you plan on sauteeing your shrimp or cooking them in a sauce or curry. Simply pull off the tail or break off.
- With a small pointy knife (aka paring knife), lightly cut into the shrimp back along the dark vein. From top till down.
- Take out the shrimp vein and discard.
- Repeat the process with all the other shrimp.
- Rinse the shrimp and remove excess water.
- Use them up or store them in batches. Keep them in zip lock bags, that way you can freeze and thaw them as needed.
- pointy paring knife
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