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Devein the lower ("belly") part of the shrimp

I bought some shrimps with heads on (yay!) at an asian market there is no vein running along the back that I can see but there is one on the underside-does that need to be removed?


I am frying the heads with the shrimp then discarding them, dont want to lose all that flavor

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    1. Yes, devein if you want (don't have to)

      Also, if you fry the heads, eat them for heavensake.

      2 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          my thoughts as well, eat the heads!

        2. I have posted this question about do people devein both sides of the shrimp. The consensus at the time was that most people do devein both sides.

          Do you need to devin the underside (belly)? Many do not. It is not as critical as the one on top.

          One is the digestive system, while the other is the nerve.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I see no reason whatsoever to take out the second "vein."

            1. re: pikawicca

              I've never deveined a shrimp belly, and I've eaten a LOT of fresh shrimp (that's a good thing...)

          2. Never heard of, nor seen that done before. I sure wouldn't bother.

            1. not to be gross but... it is a shrimp... what is it going to have in its digestive system that is anymore evolved than itself..you are eating a shrimp...

              1 Reply
              1. re: girloftheworld

                That's not gross at all and I thank you for pointing it out. It's the RARE occasion that I devein at all.

              2. I've never even noticed another "vein" on the bottom of a shrimp to be honest. Perhaps this is only present on larger shrimp?

                1. This cut is to make additional surface area and enhance cooking technique. Shrimp have only one ass, same as us.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Veggo

                    Just rediscovered this thread. Why would that "enhance cooking technique"?

                  2. I think de-veining is mainly cosmetic. At least *I* have never found un-de-veined shrimp to have a noticeably 'sandy' texture. OTOH, in a restaurant, a black vein looks to me like sloppy prep work. Yes, I contradict myself.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: mwhitmore

                      Consider yourself lucky. In larger Shrimp the Alimentary Canal can definitely be gritty.

                      1. re: chefj

                        Depends a bit on their last meal and how muddy the floor was.

                        1. re: chefj

                          I should have said 'rarely', And yes, mainly small-to-medium shrimp.

                          1. re: mwhitmore

                            depends on where they're from...Gulf shrimp can definitely be gritty.

                          2. re: chefj

                            Yeah. It depends on what they were eating. I figure whatever was good for the shrimp probably won't hurt me. I only de-vein if my wife is hovering about. Mostly, I don't bother and nobody complains.

                        2. I do remove both, though neither is necessary. I just like how it looks, especially in large shrimp, where I want to show them of. But, I also take tweezers to my corn to get the hairs out! To each, their own.

                          1. The lower belly line on the shrimps are the nerves, since they don't have spinal cords.

                            It's the vein running along the back is the "intestines".

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: dave_c

                              it is the Alimentary Canal : " the tubular passage that extends from mouth to anus, functions in digestion and absorption of food and elimination of residual waste"

                            2. Thinking technically the "belly" (guts, intestinal tract) runs down the BACK of the bug. Never heard of or saw anything resembling that vein on the underside?

                              My Dad loved shrimp and would buy BIG ones... like 6-8 to a lb. A lot of times the "vein" was PINK?? Was that roe? We just ate them like that... boiled or fried.