Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Devein Shrimp

Culinary etiquette demands deveining shrimp.

We live in a modern world. Fortunately, one can simply walk into the grocery store and purchase already peeled-and-deveined shrimp.

Quick sprinkle of seasonings, flash on the sauté pan and voila… healthy, flavorful crustacean consumption. 

So what exactly does it mean to devein a shrimp and why is it important?

First of all, deveining is purely for aesthetics. The digestive tract of a shrimp (known as the “vein”) runs in a line along the back of the shrimp. When one “deveins” a shrimp he or she is removing the digestive system, eliminating ‘grittiness’ and ensuring that the ‘waste’ produced by the shrimp will not be consumed. Now, if one decided to leave the vein in, they will essentially be serving the “waste” of a shrimp to guests. This will not hurt the consumer… but it will not exactly “add” to their dining experience.


Deveining is simple. The easier manner? Purchase shrimp that have already been peeled and deveined for you!

In order to save a few dollars, most certainly do it yourself.

Simply remove the shell of the shrimp and discard (or place in plastic bag in order to use for later and make fish stock).

When looking at the shrimp, one can generally see the dark vein running along the back of the crustacean. Using a small paring knife, make a ¼ inch incision along the back of the shrimps back (following the line of the dark vein). Using the back of the knife or fingers, remove as much of the black vein as possible. If you cannot see a black vein, then apparently the little guy did not have much to eat before being caught.

Season, sauté and enjoy!

Fresh, healthy combo? Dice mango and cucumber, then drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil, freshly crushed sea salt and cilantro. Season shrimp with sea salt and herbs de Provence, then quickly sauté (about 1-2 minutes on each side - depending on the size of the shrimp). Serve together with reduced balsamic vinegar … a few scallops are great additions!

“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There's, um, shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. There's pineapple shrimp and lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich... That's, that's about it” - Bubba Blue (Forest Gump)

Love y’all! ♥

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