How-To: Peel and Devein a Shrimp

Even though they have plenty of tiny legs to trip you up, peeling a shrimp only takes a few seconds.

What You’ll Need

Running water, paper towels, a regular knife and a pair of hands.

Step One

First thing’s first—you’ll need to remove the head before cooking. Simply hold on to the body of the shrimp with one hand, and with the thumb and forefinger of your other hand, twist the head and pull it right off. Take a paper towel and wipe away any of the mess that’s left before rinsing off the shrimp.

Step Two

Now take your shrimp (cooked or raw), grab the tail with one hand and pull the legs and shell off with the thumb and forefinger of your other hand. The whole package should slide off in one piece.

Step Three

At this point, all you have left is the tail, which can be pulled off easily if you pinch it at the bottom and pull the shrimp from the top. Make sure you don’t leave the tail meat behind—it’s just as good as the rest.

Step Four

When you’ve gotten rid the shell, take a knife and make a small cut along the back of the shrimp. If you can see the vein, grab it and carefully pull it out; if you can’t see the vein, don’t worry with it.

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