When you think of deveining shrimp, your first thought may be that it
isn't the most enticing task. Actually, deveining shrimp is very easy to do! While
shrimp can be cooked and eaten with or without the vein, most people remove it. This is more for presentation rather than taste, but
leaving the vein in can result in a gritty taste when it is bitten into.
Just remember, the vein is the digestive tract of the shrimp, so more
times than not, you will probably want to remove it.
Before you begin to devein your shrimp, start by keeping them in a bowl
of ice water. This will keep the shrimp fresh while you are working on
If you will be using shrimp that have already been shelled, the only
thing you will need is a small, thin, sharp knife. A common paring knife
will do. Start by holding the shrimp, backside up, and run your knife
down the length of the shrimp. This will expose the vein. To remove the
vein you can use your finger, or the tip of your knife to pull it out
of the shrimp. You may also run the shrimp under a stream of cold water
which, in some case, the vein will simply wash away. When finished,
replace the shrimp into the ice water to keep it fresh until you are
finished deveining and ready to cook.
If you plan on cooking your shrimp with the shell still on, you can
still devein them. In this case you will need a shrimp deveiner, a
knife-like kitchen tool made specifically for deveining shrimp with their
shells on. This can be purchased at any kitchen supply store.
holding the shrimp backside up, and place the deveiner under the tip of the
shell. Gently slide the deveiner up the back of the shrimp, towards the
tail. The deveiner has a serrated edge that the vein will adhere to, while cutting the shell with its sharp, upper edge.