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

madeliner Jun 1, 2013 06:12 PM

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

  1. k
    kseiverd Jun 7, 2013 12:51 PM

    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.

    1. dave_c Jun 7, 2013 12:09 PM

      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
        chefj Jun 7, 2013 03:10 PM

        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. l
        liza219 Jun 6, 2013 09:15 PM

        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. m
          mwhitmore Jun 6, 2013 07:03 PM

          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
            chefj Jun 7, 2013 03:08 PM

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

            1. re: chefj
              Veggo Jun 7, 2013 03:13 PM

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

              1. re: chefj
                mwhitmore Jun 7, 2013 03:24 PM

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

                1. re: mwhitmore
                  sunshine842 Jun 7, 2013 07:42 PM

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

                2. re: chefj
                  flavrmeistr Jun 7, 2013 04:01 PM

                  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. Veggo Jun 3, 2013 07:43 AM

                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
                  c oliver Jun 6, 2013 08:16 PM

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

                2. Atomic76 Jun 3, 2013 07:32 AM

                  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. girloftheworld Jun 2, 2013 08:05 PM

                    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
                      c oliver Jun 3, 2013 08:20 AM

                      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. p
                      primebeefisgood Jun 2, 2013 06:04 PM

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

                      1. Chemicalkinetics Jun 2, 2013 01:36 PM

                        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
                          pikawicca Jun 2, 2013 03:35 PM

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

                          1. re: pikawicca
                            sunshine842 Jun 7, 2013 07:41 PM

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

                        2. ipsedixit Jun 1, 2013 07:36 PM

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

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

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: ipsedixit
                            madeliner Jun 1, 2013 07:58 PM

                            thank you ! :)

                            1. re: ipsedixit
                              treb Jun 7, 2013 05:49 AM

                              my thoughts as well, eat the heads!

                            2. pikawicca Jun 1, 2013 06:26 PM


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