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Back to the Basics with Deveining Shrimp

May 24, 2010

I know, I just did a Back to the Basics post yesterday and I really like to mix it up; however, this week we will be looking at TWO (count them one…two…) dishes that use shrimp, because I’m THAT kind of crazy.

Anyway, I figured that the best way to start into some shrimp dishes is to look at how to prepare shrimp. 

I’ll never forget the first time I was introduced to deveining shrimp…I was in junior high and my mom called and said she was on the way home, “could you devein the shrimp?”

WHAT?!? What are you talking about?  I had no clue.  She quickly explained over the phone…I failed miserably, but then I quickly learned the proper approach.

What I have discovered is that any seafood is easier to handle when it’s just between frozen and thaw.  So, take you shrimp:

 

Peel off the outer shell:

 

The easiest way is, if there is a head, pop that right off; however most of the time you buy them with the heads already removed.  Okay, then grab the legs and peel back.  This will usually leave the tail still on:

 

If you want to leave the tail on, you can; if not, it should just pop right off real easy.  Typically I take it off but only because other people around here don’t like to deal with the tails.  Me?  I’m weird, depending on how they’re prepared, I’ll actually just munch through them…yes, weird, I know. The story of my life.

Okay, so now comes the hard part.  I have found at times that there might even be TWO places that you need to cut out (once on the back and once on the belly side).  You’re looking for a dark thin line that runs the length of the shrimp.  Run a knife right down the middle of shrimp, lengthwise.  You don’t want to cut all the way through, just a very thin cut to reach that line:

 

 

That line?  Oh, it’s the poop line.  Yeah, gross, that’s why we get rid of it.

Once you’ve made your cut, just simply pull out that thin line, it’ll come out real easy:

 

Want to see it again?

Find the line:

 

Make a cut:

 

Find that poop line:

 

Take it out:

It really is that easy.  It’s just time consuming, tedious work.

I have also found, sometimes, if the heads are already off, you can actually see the line sitting at the front and you can just pull it right out.  That works, too!

So, have you ever deveined shrimp before?

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