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Knife Skills: How to Peel and Devein Shrimp

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First things first: If you've been buying pre-cooked shrimp or even peeled and deveined shrimp, stop right this instant! I mean it!

Pre-cooked shrimp are unfailingly pre-overcooked-shrimp, and are impossible to add flavor to the way you can with raw shrimp. Shrimp that are raw but peeled and deveined are a small step up, but often get mangled and beat up in the cleaning. You are much better off buying whole, headless shrimp (or at the very least E-Z peel) and cleaning them yourself. It's a little more work, but worth the effort. This video will show you everything you need to know.

Shopping and Storage


There are a number of choices to make when it comes to buying shrimp:

*N.B. Some really good fish markets will have never-been-frozen wild shrimp. If they carry these, they will advertise them as such. As long as you can trust them that they are fresh, snatch'em up and eat them immediately! They're a real treat.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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