Des

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How to Peel and Devein Shrimp

A simple guide showing how to Peel and Devein Shrimp with step by step photos and instructions.

When you’re making any kind of shrimp recipe, you’ve probably come across the the words “peeled and deveined shrimp”. Now sometimes, especially at the seafood counter, you can find fresh shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined for you, but more often than if you are looking for raw, uncooked shrimp you’re going to need to peel and devein it yourself.

I remember when I was first learning how to cook, the idea of peeling and deveining shrimp seemed a bit daunting. But it is actually pretty easy to do once you get the hang of it.

This post is a step by step guide showing you exactly how do it.

HOW TO PEEL AND DEVEIN SHRIMP:

  • STEP #1: Pull the legs (and the head if it’s attached) off.
  • STEP #2: Gently peel the shell off. If you would l like to leave the tails on gently remove the shell up until the last segment of the shell.
  • STEP #3: To remove the vein, use a small pairing knife to cut a small slit in the back of the shrimp. About 1/4 inch through. Use the knife to gently remove the vein and discard.
  • STEP #4: Keep the shrimp cold in ice water until ready to use. Pat dry before using.

FAQ

IS DEVEINING SHRIMP NECESSARY?

It really is a personal preference. You can choose to leave the vein in the shrimp. If you’re working with larger shrimp, the vein might be a little thick which would impact the texture.

CAN YOU DEVEIN SHRIMP IN ADVANCE?

Yes, you can certainly devein shrimp in advance. However, keep in mind that thawed shrimp should be used within 24 hours.

CAN YOU LEAVE THE TAIL ON SHRIMP?

Yes! The tail can be left on the shrimp. You can even eat them. Some people like to leave them on as handles and because they like the look of the dish. When I’m making fried shrimp, I keep the tails on. When adding to pasta I remove them. Personal preferences!

Now that you have deveined the shrimp, use them in some of these recipes!

Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sour Cream is one of my family’s favorite ways to celebrate Taco Tuesday!

Cajun Popcorn Shrimp is crispy, slightly spicy and oh so addicting!

I love, love, love shrimp in pasta. This Shrimp Pasta with Zucchini and Tomatoes is one of my absolute favorites. Ever.

If you love shrimp ceviche but are a little unsure about using raw shrimp, this Shrimp Ceviche calls for poaching first. Win!

Serve an epic shrimp lunch with this Shrimp Sandwich with Spicy Avocado Sauce.

Peeled and deveined shrimp in a white bowl.

How to Peel and Devein Shrimp

Step by step instructions for peeling shrimp
Prep Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • 1 pairing knife

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound shrimp thawed if frozen

Instructions
 

  • Pull the legs (and the head if it's attached) off.
  • Gently peel the shell off. If you would l like to leave the tails on gently remove the shell up until the last segment of the shell.
  • To remove the vein, use a small pairing knife to cut a small slit in the back of the shrimp. About 1/4 inch through. Use the knife to gently remove the vein and discard.
  • Keep the shrimp cold in ice water until ready to use. Pat dry before using.
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Keywords: bay shrimp, how to, seafood

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Des

Hey! I'm Des!

Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

Read more »

Have new recipes emailed to you.