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Prepping Shrimp For Cooking

Preparing Shrimp

Preparing shrimp for cooking isn't difficult, but there are several methods involved. Use these tips when preparing the Salt & Pepper Shrimp.

Shelling/Peeling: Remove the shells if the shrimp will be cooked in soup or any dish where it's too difficult to fish them out to peel after cooking. Sometimes it's beneficial to leave on the shells if the shrimp will be exposed to very high heat.

To shell shrimp, start by pulling on the shell underside at the large end of a shrimp. Grasp the legs, then peel the first few sections of the shell to one side and around back to the other. Pull off the tail, and remove any stray legs or pieces of shell.

Leaving or Removing Tails: When shrimp are going to be served as finger food, keep the tails on. Remove the shell, but stop just before the last segment above the tail. To remove the tail, flatten and fan out the tail. Gently pull and wiggle the shell back and forth until the tail separates.

Deveining: A shrimp's vein is really its intestinal tract, and removing it is a matter of choice. Eating it won't hurt you, but some people don't like the gritty texture. It's wise to always devein shrimp that are 16-20 count or larger. To devein, grasp the shrimp on both sides of its body and gently squeeze. Make a shallow cut down the length of the shrimp's back, then lift out the vein with the tip of a knife.

Butterflying: Butterflying lets the shrimp cook evenly and quickly, and it looks nice. To butterfly shrimp, after deveining, make a deeper cut down the center of the shrimp, being careful not to cut it in half.

Tags: Seafood