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How to Devein a Shrimp

The vein, which is really an intestine, is unsightly and gritty. Will eating it hurt you? No. Does it look nice? Not so much. So devein away.


  • Step 1: Slice the shell Slice the fat end of the shrimp shell and pull it off the meat. Whether you leave the tail on depends on how you're going to use the shrimp.
  • TIP: It's easiest to shell raw shrimp when they're nice and cold.
  • Step 2: Expose the vein Hold the shrimp in one hand and run the blade of the paring knife along the center of the spine, exposing the vein. Don't cut too deep.
  • TIP: Specially designed shrimp deveiners are available in kitchen stores; skip them--a paring knife works best.
  • Step 3: Scrape Use the blade of the knife to scrape the black or greenish gook from the shrimp. Rinse and wipe off the knife--you're now ready to make another shrimp shine.
  • FACT: Rustic Italians grill their shrimp with shells on, vein in--toss the grilled shrimp in olive oil, lemon, and parsley and fuggedaboutit.

You Will Need

  • Shrimp
  • either raw or cooked
  • And a small paring knife

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