Little Shrimp, Big Flavor: How to Devein Shrimp

Little Shrimp, Big Flavor: How to Devein Shrimp

How to devein shrimp

Did you know Cooper’s sells wholesale shrimp all year round and offers shrimp at our Holiday retail seafood market?  Call us for Shrimp prices now! 570-346-6883

Step 1:

Fill two large bowls halfway with ice. Set the whole shrimp in one, on top of the ice. The other bowl is for placing the finished shrimp.


Note: While the bowls of ice aren’t vital to the process, this method is helpful and sanitary. Keeping the shrimp cold while you work will keep them perfectly fresh and bacteria-free.

Step 2:

If either the head or the legs are still attached, pull them off. More commonly, the shrimp will have the heads removed but the legs still attached.

Step 3:

Now pull off the outer shell. It is easiest to peel it off from the head end of the shrimp, and this leaves you with the choice of whether you want to keep the tails on the shrimp. You can pull off the tails or leave them. The tails may help to retain flavor during cooking or provide an aesthetic element for presentation reasons, such as placing the shrimp around the rim of a glass or bowl for shrimp cocktail.


Note: You can toss the shells, or you can save them. They can impart a lot of flavor to a stock or soups, so you might consider keeping them on hand. Store them in an airtight container and use as soon as possible for the best flavor results.

Step 4:

Use a paring knife to cut along the outside edge of the shrimp’s back, just deep enough to get to the vein. Since the shrimp are somewhat translucent before cooking, you shouldn’t have trouble seeing the dark vein.

How To Devein Shrimp

Step 5:

Using the knife, gently lift and extract the vein. It should come off easily. If you don’t see a vein when you cut, you don’t have to worry about it. That means the shrimp’s belly wasn’t full.

How To Devein a Shrimp

Step 6:

Place the successfully deveined shrimp in the second bowl of ice, and repeat with the remaining shrimp.

Once they have all been deveined, you’re ready to cook.