Deveining and Peeling Shrimp

Discussion in 'The Mess Hall' started by The Knize, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. The Knize

    The Knize Moderator Emeritus

    These topics may have been covered in passing in other threads. I cannot quite tell. But I thought I would put this out there as a separate thread.

    How many folks devein shrimp? Consistently or only under certain circumstances? I have gone through phases of never deveining, always deveining, and sometimes deveining. America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated seem to think that not deveining risks bitterness. I have always thought it was more of a yuck factor for some folks if shrimp are not deveined. At this point, I would say I devein if the shrimp are particularly large, whether or not I am peeling them. If I am peeling the shrimp anyway, more often than not I probably devein. (BTW, I do not know if I ever peel head-on shrimp!) If I am cooking for company I am particularly trying to impress or whom I think are squeemish, I would probably devein. I really have not done a taste test for bitterness. If someone has and can tell me deveining really makes a difference in taste, I might start deveining consistently. Shrimp are expensive enough where I am that I want them to be as good as they can be.

    Re peeling, I think I generally do not, unless the dish is something particularly refined that I think folks are going to eat with a knife and fork and will not want to use their fingers. Otherwise, I think I generally regret peeling any shrimp and I really prefer heads on!

    I am not sure, for instance, why paella recipes seem most often to call for peeled shrimp. It is not like they call for shucking the clams or mussels that are often a part of the dish! I suppose there is the issue of being able to shrimp shells to make a stock and no peeling no shells.
  2. BigFoot

    BigFoot Moderator

    I always devein them Robbie/Channing. The veins totally gross me out.
  3. To be honest, I typically buy them deviened.

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  4. DoctorShavegood

    DoctorShavegood Ambassador

    Why do we call it a vein? It's the poop tract. I've eaten them both ways but I don't like grit in my teeth. :001_302:
  5. oc_in_fw

    oc_in_fw Contributor

    I devein and peel. I wish everyone did this, totally peeling is no great effort. The only shrimp I don’t mind having a tail is fried shrimp. All others are just too messy, and I’d rather use a fork.
  6. To me, deveining is more trouble than it’s worth. I’ll buy them deveined, but it doesn’t bother me. Never noticed any grit.

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  7. TexLaw

    TexLaw Contributor

    I'm pretty much like you. If I peel them or have some reason to cut the back of the shell, I'll go ahead and devein them. It's just a small effort to devein at that point. I don't always peel or cut them, though.
  8. I saw a cool device the other day that both peels and de-veins shrimps.

    By the way, we in the US are about the only folks that even peel shrimps. Most eat shell and all. Not me, thanks.
  9. TexLaw

    TexLaw Contributor

    I'd be wary of cool devices. A good pair of shrimp scissors runs under $10, and I about imagine anything easier or quicker. I grew up peeling shrimp with a fork, so anything is better, but a pair of shrimp scissors made me feel like I could peel shrimp with my mind.
  10. I don’t eat poop. I depooify. Shrimp prices went way up here so I haven’t had shrimp in quite a while
  11. Unless I'm using whole shrimp, head and all, I always devein and peel. Shells make great shrimp stock and compost material if you have a compost pile.
  12. 65C14976-99CA-4545-814F-E9FE0B56A1B2.jpeg Shrimp I peel and devein any shrimp I eat. Shells find their way into waste. Cleaning involves some running water and $0.99 tool.
  13. eightysixCJ

    eightysixCJ Contributor

    Same here, similar tool.

  14. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus

  15. Rob:
    Like many here...the Mrs. and I usually buy deveined, but have no problem deveining fresh shrimp. :thumbsup:

    [​IMG] "Shrimp is the fruit of the sea". Author Unknown
  16. kudos to the poster of the $0.99 tool - need to get one of those ;)
  17. I've worked as a butcher for 24 years. Devein your shrimp. Don't buy shrimp from Asian farms- there is nothing in the way of standards or regulations and the flavor is non-existent. Deveined shell on prawns are out there if that's your thing. My go-to is shell and devein, then saute the shells in butter to get the flavor into the dish- there is a lot of shrimpy flavor in the shell. Toss the shells, cook with the butter, and eat the meal with a fork.
  18. The Knize

    The Knize Moderator Emeritus

    I am still not sure I am convinced, but I may be shamed into it. I definitely would not throw out shells without extracting their flavor.

    All things being equal as to availability--which is not always the case--I highly favor US Gulf or Carolina shrimp over Asia. The flavor difference is obvious. Due to a job/location change I suddenly have easy access to a great and reasonably priced seafood market. It has been a real treat!
  19. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus

    Can't speak to the flavour per se but ... a bit of research online will let you in on a host of horror stories of what liquids they use to fill the ponds where they raise the shrimp & prawns. If memory serves, Thailand is supposed to be a step up from some of the others.

    Let's just say that there is a lot of practical research proving that sewage won't kill shrimp before they are ready for the market.

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