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How to Peel and Devein Shrimp

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Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Why you should peel and devein your own shrimp -- and the fastest, easiest way to do so.


Roasted Radicchio and Shrimp Salad from Food52

Some kitchen tasks -- like peeling fava beans, or shelling peas, or whisking cream to a stiff peak -- are fun, rewarding, therapeutic.

We're not going to pretend that peeling and deveining shrimp fall into this category.

Sure, you can buy your shrimp already-peeled and deveined, but we're the kind of cooks that aren't scared away by the nitty-gritty of our ingredients. (Plus, the pre-prepped shrimp are more expensive anyway.) The vein won't kill you, but the stuff inside -- waste, to put it nicely -- is best avoided. Here are the best ways to peel and devein your shrimp -- because while some kitchen tasks aren't always fun, the result is far more rewarding. (Save the shells for stock, and you'll feel even better.)

Starting at the head end of the shrimp, peel away the legs and shell from the shrimp.

Peeling shrimp from Food52 

If you’d like to leave the tail on, go ahead. If you want to remove it, snap through the shell and gently pull the meat from it.

Tailing shrimp from Food52

Using a paring knife, cut along the middle of the shrimp’s back to reveal the vein.

Vein in shrimp from Food52 Deveining shrimp from Food52

Then use the knife to peel out the vein.

Deveining shrimp from FOod52

Rinse and dry the shrimp, and you’re ready to go!

Do you have any tricks for peeling and deveining shrimp? Let us know in the comments!

Tags: kitchen confidence, shrimp, how to, how-to, deveining shrimp, peeling shrimp, seafood, how-to & diy

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