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How to Peel and Devein Shrimp: A Step-by-Step Guide

For most people especially in Africa, deveining shrimp or prawn might be seen as completely unnecessary. I mean, take a look at our very own Okporo (Dried Prawn & Shrimp)...Who really has time to remove the veins? But on another note, some recipes actually call for the use of peeled and deveined shrimp or prawns therefore removing the veins is very necessary. Here're some things you'd need to know.
"What is the black line at the back of the shrimp?"
For JJCs (Johnny just come), the black line seen at the back of the shrimp/prawn is known as the Sand/ Blood Vein, an indirect term for the Venal Nerve of the shrimp/prawn. As you know quite well, sand is definitely a no no for your food.
"What is the line at the stomach region of the shrimp?"
Well the line located at the stomach region is not actually a vein but the intestinal tract of the shrimp. This is where you'd find food residues eaten by the shrimp while it was alive, sand and Poop....Yes! 'Poo P'oo, as in the shit 😃. To be frank, i didn't know this for a long time until i had to do a little research on how to plump up my shrimp/ prawns to make it look more aesthetically appealing hence the discovery so we're definitely in the same boat...hehehe!!. If the shrimp hasn't fed for a few days, it's usually white in colour. If it's black then it's filled with digested residues and poop.
"Is it really compulsory to devein shrimp?"
it's really not compulsory to devein shrimp but it's very necessary especially with larger shrimp & prawns as these usually contain larger residues and waste products. Unlike the human body where the intestines are separate, this single tract in the shrimp belly functions as both the large and small intestine therefore you're likely to find residues of what the shrimp eats such as sand, mud

For aesthetic purposes, i love to devein whatever prawn and shrimp (the larger ones) i intend using. Not only does that make it look better but it also

How to devein Shrimp/Prawn

Step 1: The first step is to remove the head. Next, you peel off the shells from the Prawn / Shrimp. You could either remove the tail or leave it intact.

Step 2: To devein, simply use a sharp knife to make a slit along the middle of the back to expose the dark vein. Pull out the vein. Turn the shrimp/ prawn to the middle and make a slit then remove the vein located there also.


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