Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Mar 2, 2011 04:27 AM

cleaning shrimp

When I clean shrimp I take the little vein out of the front and the back. Is that how everyone does it? Sometimes when I buy it precooked they only take out one side. It is strange that in the same batch, some have more of a vein than others or no vein. Strange question but just curious!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Alica, I never bother with the little vein inside the curve. I was told that's just part of the circulatory system. The big vein in the back, however is poopy stuff. I suppose that some shrimps have evacuated recently and some have not!

    2 Replies
    1. re: jmcarthur8

      I never realized there was a vein on the inner curve and never noticed that a shrimp had been sliced open on that side. In restaurant dishes, sometimes the digetive tube on the outer curve has been removed, sometimes not. Certainly this is not done with tiny salad/popcorn shrimp, so it seems largely a cosmetic matter. In the totality of an average person's yearly diet, we consume more poop than we're aware of.

      1. re: greygarious

        Neither are veins. The "vein" on the outside curve is the intestine. The "vein" on the inside curve is the nerve cord (like our spinal cord, but ventral). Crustaceans, like other arthropods, have an "open" circulatory blood vessels.

    2. I don't remove the front/inside vein/whatever unless it seems really big or very dark and I figure it might end up being a little gritty or something. It's not a big deal and I might skip it if I'm in a hurry, I just figure that since I'm standing there holding a knife over the thing anyway, I might as well remove it. ;)

      1. I'm with you Alica- I also buy deveined shrimp but only the part on the outside is taken out so I always end up having to take out the vein on the inside curve. I assumed since it's always there even with deveined shrimp that there's nothing wrong with it, but since we know it's there we take it out... Kind of a pain!

        1. Thanks for all of the info. It would be nice to just have to remove one "vein". At times that part can be pretty icky! I love shrimp and I do like to cook it myself so I will continue cleaning!!