Peeling and Deveining Shrimp

  • Shrimp may be cooked with or without their shells.
  • To remove the shells, grasp the tail in one hand and the legs in the other. In one motion, pull the legs off. Peel back the shell, and remove it.
  • Save the shrimp peels for making wonderful shellfish stock.
  • The tail may be left on or removed, depending on personal preference and/or the instructions in the recipe.
  • The vein along the top of the shrimp, which is actually the digestive tract, should be removed.
  • A shrimp deveiner actually peels and deveins shrimp. It quickly removes the vein and the shell in a single motion.
  • To devein shell-on shrimp, use a small, sharp knife to make a shallow incision along the top of the shrimp, cutting through the shell and into the surface of the meat; remove and discard the dark-colored vein.